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Women allege they were sexually assaulted on vacation in the Bahamas

The Kentucky women said they didn't find about the recent U.S. travel advisory for the Bahamas until after the assault happened.
Women allege they were sexually assaulted on vacation in the Bahamas
Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 07, 2024

Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find disturbing or triggering. 

Two central Kentucky women are demanding justice and warning other travelers to be cautious after they said they were sexually assaulted on a beach in the Bahamas during a recent vacation. 

Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson's dream cruise trip ended in a nightmare.

“This was our first kid-free vacation ever,” said Shearer. 

When their Carnival cruise docked at Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, the women said they took a taxi to a resort beach to capture pictures and enjoy their last day.

The women said they drank a cocktail, then lost consciousness and were raped by resort staff members. 

Shearer and Dobson shared preliminary drug tests that showed positive results for multiple drugs including benzodiazepines, a class of depressant drugs that includes Valium and Xanax. 

The women also have bruises up and down their legs.

Shearer said she told law enforcement they wanted medical examinations for rape kits, but the officers refused. 

The woman said they later received care when they got back to the cruise ship. 

A press release shared on Facebook by Royal Bahamas Police confirmed two men, ages 54 and 40, were arrested Sunday for the alleged sexual assault of two women at a beach in Central Grand Bahama, and that an investigation is underway.

Just days before the women's cruise, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 2 travel advisory for the Bahamas due to an uptick in violent crime, specifically recommending increased caution on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama.

“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas,” the department said. 

@scrippsnews What are you spring #travel plans? The U.S. State Department recently issued a travel warning for the #Bahamas ♬ original sound - Scripps News

The women said, “We didn’t know there was a travel advisory until four hours after we were raped,” adding they were never made aware of the advisory before the trip.

The pair is now receiving medical care at home, which includes thousands of dollars of preventative care for HIV and other concerns. 

Despite the traumatic event, the women are hoping to do whatever they can to prevent someone else from falling victim to violence in the area. They said they want to bring awareness of the issue to others who plan on traveling to the Bahamas.

"We want justice for what happened to us. We want to raise awareness for others," Shearer wrote on her social media Tuesday.

“Be safe. Two is not a group. Do not buy any drinks that come unless they come in a sealed container, in a bottle,” Dobson said.

The women said they have not been contacted by American authorities and are looking for legal representation to take action against the resort and the suspects responsible.

This story was originally published by Andrew Lamparski at Scripps News Lexington

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