EXCLUSIVE – The mom of one of many ladies allegedly raped at a Bahamas resort stated she knew “one thing was not fairly proper” about two hours earlier than her daughter despatched a textual content that stopped her coronary heart.
“Name us now we’ve been drugged and raped,” Dongayla Dobson texted her mother, Frankie King, who spoke to Fox Information Digital in an unique interview.
“They had been on a stay video that they only posted or one thing. They had been like falling in every single place,” King stated. “They do not drink so much, however I’ve seen each of these ladies drunk. I knew there was one thing else occurring. Like one thing’s not fairly proper, however I could not put my finger on it.”
That was round 9:30 to 10 a.m. Feb. 1, the day her daughter and greatest buddy since fourth grade, Amber Shearer, had been allegedly drugged with a laced cocktail and attacked. Two hours later, King acquired the bone-chilling textual content.
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“It is a mum or dad’s worst nightmare,” King stated. “Your little one is in hassle, in peril and scared, and so they’re 300, 500 miles away, or no matter, throughout the water, and I am unable to get to them.”
A resort housekeeper discovered Shearer and Dobson unconscious in a rest room of the Pirate’s Cove resort on Grand Bahama Island, King stated.
A nurse practioner helped saved the ladies’s lives, documented their accidents and has been checking up on them every day since their return to their residence in Kentucky, the doting mother stated.
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However service was shoddy. It was tough for King, her spouse and their son-in-law to totally perceive what was occurring or once they had been returning to the port in Jacksonville. And each ladies have kids between the ages of 4 and 17.
All of them waited over 24 hours earlier than the survivors had been reunited with their households.
“I by no means imagined how traumatized they really had been till I noticed them on the airport,” King stated. “It was like they had been kids once more. They got here working into me and jumped on me. I imply, they nearly knocked me down.
“Every thing got here out abruptly. We’re all simply completely bawling. We stood there for I do not know the way lengthy. They would not let go, and we’re simply rubbing their backs and saying, ‘I’ve received you. You are secure now.'”
Each ladies, who’ve been associates because the fourth grade, come from humble backgrounds. They saved cash since March to take this “once-in-a-lifetime woman’s journey,” King stated.
A few sips into what the ladies allege had been drug-laced cocktails, and the most effective trip of their lives changed into a struggle for survival. They stated they misplaced consciousness, and that is once they had been allegedly sexually assaulted.
“I vaguely keep in mind glimpses of his face,” Dobson instructed “Good Morning America” Thursday. “I do not keep in mind every thing. I keep in mind sufficient that he was a employees employee, he had a goatee and he was a neighborhood.”
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Their toxicology outcomes got here again with a mixture of medicine of their methods.
The Royal Bahama Police Power stated in a Feb. 4 assertion it arrested two males — ages 54 and 40 — within the alleged sexual assault. Their names weren’t launched.
Sexist feedback and threats aimed on the survivors and their youngsters
Unaware of the State Division’s late January journey advisory to the Bahamas, the survivors took to social media to warn different ladies in regards to the nightmare that that they had been by.
“That was their greatest factor once they began posting,” King stated. “They needed folks to remember that it is a harmful place as a result of they felt like that they had no person. We did not know something about this journey warning. Nobody stated something to us.”
There have been a whole lot of encouraging and uplifting responses that supported the ladies, in line with King, together with individuals who shared their very own horror experiences.
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However others hid behind anonymity and responded with probably the most nauseating, venomous remarks.
“There have been a pair particularly that I keep in mind,” King stated. “One stated like, ‘Should you hadn’t been in these bikinis, perhaps it would not have occurred.’ They had been on a seaside, and it was 90 levels. OK, certain.
“After which one other man stated, ‘Effectively, if I might been there, I’d’ve completed the identical factor.’ Some stated, ‘They received what deserved.’ No person deserves that. No person asks for that.”
The wretched responses, claims they’re faking and threats reached their youngsters, which prompted the ladies to close down their social media accounts.
They’re all along with Dobson’s husband and their youngsters, making an attempt to get by the psychological trauma and navigate the expensive medical bills, together with HIV prevention.
“My daughter is afraid for her husband to depart,” King stated. “We’re all supporting one another. I began the GoFundMe to attempt to get them some assist and assist. I have been a nurse for 30 years, however clearly the ladies aren’t working, and proper now my son-in-law is spending all this time with my daughter, so he is not working proper now.
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“And, , a gallon of milk is like six bucks now, so it is, it is onerous. Insurance coverage covers solely a lot, and I nonetheless must pay my payments. So, I can solely assist them a lot. However the monetary assist is only a small a part of it.
“The largest factor that we’re engaged on is emotional assist. Whenever you nonetheless have to remain in the identical room along with your greatest buddy since you’re afraid of being separated.”
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The resort’s denial
The resort, Pirate’s Cove, stated in a press release the ladies’s allegations of drug-laced cocktails and sexual assaults “battle” with its 16 “time-stamped surveillance movies.”
These “prolonged movies of all involved” had been handed over to native police, and the FBI confirmed it is also a part of the investigation.
“I have not seen all of the movies, however what we did see is of various ladies,” in line with King, who stated she’s extra targeted on making her daughter and “adopted” daughter entire once more. “I do know my daughter, and what I noticed. That wasn’t her.”
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The resort’s assertion goes on to say it took “swift” motion by firing two resort staff for violating resort coverage.
“We’ve a zero-tolerance coverage for fraternizing with visitors or behaving in a fashion that’s unsafe,” the resort’s assertion says.
“We remorse that our visitors skilled this incident, and we stay steadfast in our dedication to assist police within the assortment of proof in response to those allegations, together with offering police entry to video the place the assault of the 2 visitors allegedly occurred.”
Confrontation and 70% of Bahamian economic system at stake
Because the resort fights the ladies’s allegations with its personal assertion, the US Division of State and the Bahamian authorities exchanged slicing barbs over the division’s level-two journey advisory warning due to rising ranges of crime.
“Nearly all of crime happens on New Windfall (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,” in line with the State Division’s late January warning, which talked about spikes in violent crimes like armed robberies and sexual assaults due to gang exercise.
Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis got here out swinging by saying many tourism areas share the identical stage two designation.
“The incidents described within the January 2024 U.S. Embassy crime alert don’t replicate common security in The Bahamas, a depend of sixteen vacationer locations and lots of extra islands,” Davis stated Jan. 29, 5 days after the U.S. warning.
He stated the Bahamian authorities “is alert, attentive and proactive to make sure that The Bahamas stays a secure and welcoming vacation spot.”
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Almost your complete Bahamian economic system is at stake in the case of tourism, which accounts for about 70% of the nation’s gross home product and employs simply over half of the workforce, in line with an October 2022 report by the Worldwide Commerce Administration.
The Bahamas was on monitor to welcome over 7 million American vacationers by the tip of 2023, in line with the state division’s most up-to-date Funding Local weather Assertion, which was launched in 2023.
Fox Information Digital’s Jasmine Baehr contributed to this report.