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By Angela Batterson - August 18, 2017 0 53
PHOTO CREDIT: thetropics.com
An alleged sex offender, Shaneke Williams, has been booted from the Miss Jamaica World Beauty Pageant.
Williams was accused along with a prominent Jamaican businessman and politician of rape and sexual grooming of a 15-year-old minor in 2013. The pair were however acquitted after the complainant said she no longer wanted to continue with the case.
Howls of condemnation
When the pageant contestants were recently announced it was revealed that Williams was among them. The response was howls of condemnation, including those of former Youth and Culture Minister, Lisa Hanna, herself a former Miss World, who advocated that Williams be removed from the contest.
The organizers and franchise holder of Miss Jamaica World pageant, conceded to public opinion, persuaded Williams to withdraw. The organizers who operates Sparta Health Club in Kingston, Jamaica instead offered Williams one-year free gym membership at the club.
Not seen as unsavory
Spartan’s boss, Mickey Haughton-James, said in a release that Williams was not seen as “a criminal or even as an unsavory person, but just someone who does not meet the criteria for entry into the Miss Jamaica World Pageant at this time.”
Under Miss Jamaica World rules, an entrant must be a person whose background is not likely to bring into disrepute the Miss Jamaica World Beauty Pageant or Miss Jamaica World title.
The rulers also afford the promoter the right, without giving any reason whatsoever, to bar any applicant from entering the Miss Jamaica World contest who may bring the contest into disrepute.
Haughton-James said anyone accused of the actions that Williams was accused of, and was before the nation’s court for a criminal offence in the same year as the staging of the pageant, would obviously face exclusion from the pageant.
Williams said she expected she would have met with some criticism on entering the pageant, but not to the extent that occurred. In an earlier interview, she claimed to have been wrongly accused and lied on. She said she regarded her entrance in the pageant as an opportunity to explain her ordeal, and make a stance for women who are subject to bullying. She said she was sympathetic to the victims of rape as she herself was raped at age-8.
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