May 13, 2021
A 27-year-old Surinamese woman has sued the government, claiming that an immigration officer drugged her with alcohol and sexually violated her.
A writ filed in the Supreme Court this week alleges that the officer told other officers about his action and the woman was repeatedly denied access to her lawyers even as immigration officials investigated her claims.
The woman was taken into the custody of immigration officials around August 14, 2020 after serving three-and-a-half years in prison. The Tribune understands she had been convicted and sentenced for drug offences.
According to the writ, she was taken to a safe house with other detainees after a detainee at the Detention Centre was suspected of having COVID-19.
An immigration officer tasked with securing the safe house allegedly entered her room on March 11, 2021 and offered her a drink in a disposable hot cup. Surprised by his generosity, the woman asked him about the kind of drink and she was allegedly told it was a mixture of gin, wine and cranberry juice. The officer left the room after giving the woman the drink but repeatedly came back to refill her cup, the suit alleges.
The writ says: “After consuming about five to six cups of the drinks, (the woman) fell sick and became extremely nauseated and weak. She refused the additional alcohol that was still being poured by (the officer). (She) had alcohol before but never felt sick so she decided to go to sleep.
“(The officer) returned when (the woman) was drowsy and very intoxicated and started kissing her and then proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her. (The woman) was too weak to resist (his) sexual exploits and at that point she became highly suspicious that she may have consumed more than just alcohol as she had alcohol before and didn’t feel that way.
“At first (she) thought it was her roommate who had entered the room and then she recognised that in fact (the officer) had re-entered her room and was having sex with her. (She) was concerned about what was happening and asked (he) if he wouldn’t get in trouble for doing this and he said, ‘no I straight.’
“(The woman) was so embarrassed about what happened that she did not tell her roommate immediately. Her roommate came to the room and she saw (the officer) leaving the room. The next morning (the woman’s) roommate told her that during the night while they were sleeping a man came into the room and she was scared. Later, (the woman) asked (the officer) if he came into the room and he said yes he did but they were ‘knocked out’ and that he only wanted to kiss her. (The woman) was experiencing an unusual excruciating pain in her anus and she asked (him) if he had anal sex with her and he said he only had vaginal sex with her. (The woman) had two children before so she was concerned about that pain in her anus that persisted for several days.
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