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16 AUGUST 2017 JAMAICA NEWS
Lisa Hanna (left) has come out against Shaneke Williams' Miss Jamaica bid.
The bid by Shaneke Williams, who was freed of rape-related charges earlier this year, for the 2017 Miss Jamaica World crown, has been dealt a near death blow from perhaps the best-placed source in the country.
Lisa Hanna, the 1993 winner of the coveted Miss World title, the last such success for Jamaica on the international stage, has weighed in on the widening controversy through an Instagram post.
Citing the ‘Caesar’s Wife’ principle, Hanna, Member of Parliament for South East St Ann and former Youth and Culture Minister, said under the globally historic principle, “Suspicion alone is (deemed) enough to disqualify anyone from being "married"..., (hence), it should be enough to disqualify anyone from competing to represent our country as Miss Jamaica World.”
She recommended an examination of the principle to the organisers of the Miss Jamaica World 2017 pageant, whose system allowed Williams to be one of 16 beauties who were selected on Saturday to vie for the Miss Jamaica World title and, by extension, the Miss World crown later on.
Questions began swirling on social media over the announcement of Williams among the MJW finalists on Monday, based on her having been freed of charges of aiding and abetting rape and sexual touching relative to a 15-year-old girl, which allegedly took place in November 2013.
The case involved former Jamaica Labour Party councillor, Don Creary, who was charged with rape.
Both Williams and Creary were freed after the complainant in the matter indicated that she did not wish to proceed further with the case.
Williams’ return to the public spotlight was greeted by questions being posed on social media about the appropriateness and wisdom of the move by the contest organisers.
Some of the posters went clearly for the jugular.
“Shaneke Williams was arrested for aiding and abetting RAPE & sexual touching of a minor, yet she's a contender in MJW? RUBBISH,” was one pivotal comment.
In direct response to that advisory and ‘verdict’, another social media user chimed in:
“But girl, imagine if she win(s) and that come(s) across international media. It will be a scandal.”
The clear inference was that if Williams wins the local contest and goes on to the Miss World pageant, her background, despite the dismissal of the case, would quite likely come into international focus, which could mean some really choppy waters for Jamaica’s image.
“Cannot believe she made it through,” said another social media user, obviously questioning the system that allowed Williams to make the cut despite the sensitive nature of her past legal troubles.
Among the comments, one user noted that the charges were, indeed, dropped against Williams, which appeared to infer that she should be eligible for any relevant option or opportunity thereafter.
Despite the growing opposition to her selection for the contest, Williams is reportedly insisting that she intends to remain in the pageant.
But Hanna’s Instagram post has sharply intensified the criticisms of her MJW bid. Among the harder hitting responses to Hanna’s statement were the following:
princessrogThe case was dismissed.. Yes. But even if she win, oh lord and when reporters dig and find that she was associated with such a case it will look bad on the country. Yes second chances should be given but not on a platform such as the Miss Jamaica world pageant.
superwomansuzieCompletely unacceptable! Unbelievable!
email@example.com I think the problem most persons are having is the fact that the victim decided to not proceed with the case.... questions are being asked why..... heightens suspicion.....so there was no trial.
guru2eibur@cleopatrasclozet people failing to realize that her innocence or lack thereof is a total separate issue from her being able to enter this competition. Our decisions on the past shape us for the future and this is just a small consequence she will have to pay. God forbid she starts up something that will backfire on her. Let some international rape activist insists on taking back up her case. Shot like this happens. She needs to just chill. Not like she was accused of robbery. Chilllllll out young girl. U watch too much show.
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