Two Kentucky moms say they were preyed upon by staff members at a Bahamas resort who raped them after their drinks were drugged.
Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson told NewsNation they’d been enjoying a Carnival cruise when the ship docked at Grand Bahama last weekend and they decided to hang out at a local resort. A staff member offered them a buy-one, get-one-free deal on drinks, Shearer said, and they were sipping their tropical cocktails on the beach—in broad daylight—when they suddenly realized “something was wrong.”
Just minutes after getting their drinks and after only a few sips, they said, family members they’d been communicating with back home expressed concerns the two women seemed really out of it. But both women don’t usually drink, they said, so they thought maybe the drinks had just hit them hard. They then decided to walk along the beach in search of sea shells to bring home to their kids, and a resort worker offered to show them an area where they could find “tons” of conch shells, Dobson said.
Shearer said the next thing she remembered was waking up as she was being assaulted by a staffer in a resort uniform. “The man who raped me, he was the one that directed us as to where to go to find the shells,” Shearer said. “I came to in the process of my rape.”
The Royal Bahamas Police Force arrested two men in connection with the alleged sexual assaults, a 54-year-old and a 40-year-old, according to a press release. But both Shearer and Dobson said they were frustrated by the response of Bahamian authorities, who they say treated them like the offenders and refused to give them rape kits.
They were given breathalyzer tests back on the cruise ship, and the results showed that they were “not drunk at all,” Dobson said. Toxicology tests, meanwhile, revealed benzodiazepines and other drugs in their systems, they said.
The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel advisory late last month warning travelers to use “increased caution” in the Bahamas due to rising crime, but Dobson and Shearer said they were not aware of that warning.
“We had no idea what was going on in the Bahamas,” Shearer said, adding that they’d only learned of the advisory after the alleged assaults.