Park Service, police have no information about rumored rape in V.I. National Park
Published: May 10, 2014
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Despite rumors circulating around the island, National Park Service officials have found no information to confirm that any rapes occurring on St. John in the last week or so.
The island's community has been alarmed by rumors of a brutal rape that occurred, though V.I. Police have received no such reports to confirm the allegations, according to Melody Rames, spokeswoman for the V.I. Police Department.
Park Service rangers have been investigating the rumors, though they have found nothing to substantiate them, said Lloyd Morris, chief ranger of the National Park Service on St. John. However, someone had posted a sign on one of the hiking trails in the park warning people to be on the lookout.
Morris had no knowledge of signs posted at the Lind Point Trail, which runs between the parking area behind the National Park Service Visitor Center and the beaches at Salomon and Honeymoon Bays, on St. John.
The sign, written in black and red lettering, reads "Warning. Warning. Women are getting raped in St. John while hitch hiking or hiking Solomon Trail. Do not walk alone or hitch hike alone."
The sign also prompts readers to call CrimeStoppers USVI if they have any information about the supposed rapes.
The only incident of a sexual nature on St. John in the last week is a report of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree that was called in to the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency police blotter, which is a log of emergency calls to 911 dispatchers.
After investigating the incident, V.I. Police found that no sexual contact had been made during the incident. The victim, a woman who had been on the beach, was hit by a man, police said, at 11 p.m. May 2 and the incident was reclassified as a case of aggravated assault and battery, Rames said.
The National Park Service, however, has received multiple calls asking whether a woman was raped while either hitchhiking or hiking within the park's boundaries.
"The only calls we've been receiving have been, 'Is it true?'" Lloyd said.
Anyone who has information about any crimes on St. John can call CrimeStoppers USVI, an anonymous tip line, at 1-800-222-8477.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.