Nugent hit by own tambourine
Latoya Nugent supports worthy causes. Her activism for equal rights for homosexuals and women in a society that is resistant to affording those groups the rights they deserve, is to be applauded.
However, in pursuit of justice for the marginalised, one must be careful not to run afoul of the same laws we seek to uphold.
Nugent was arrested on Tuesday and charged with using computer for malicious communication, under Section 9 (1) of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015.
The police reports said she used social media to malign several individuals as sexual predators. Formal complaints were made to the police by some of these individuals, following which she was called into the Cybercrimes Unit of C-TOC with her attorney, but she refused.
A warrant was subsequently prepared and she was arrest and charged.
The case is to be tried, and for all I know, she might very well be exonerated. But for now, those charges tell us that she may have erred in her pursuit of justice.
The issue of sexual abuse against women and children has been at the forefront of the news lately with the reports of scores of women being killed or abused by men across the island. Nugent herself is said to be a victim of sexual abuse.
The persons she purportedly accused on social media might be guilty of what she has accused them of, but that is not a matter for the court of public opinion. That is a battle to be fought in a court of law. A person is innocent until proven guilty and she is alleged to have defamed people with comments she made on social media.
According to the police, she declined to remove the so-called offending posts when requested.
There is still a lot more to be told as this case unfolds, but on the face of it, Nugent may have fallen victim to a common practice in Jamaica today - that of feeling we can say things on social media and not worry about the consequences.
We all want the law to work for us, but we must ensure that we use the law to fight our battles and not misuse it in ways that will bring harm to others.
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