On August 23 2014 at approximately 1:20 am John Williams fell victim to the latest effort of Dominican prostitutes in Sosua to extort money from unsuspecting tourists.
Article 309-01 of the Dominican penal code categorizes violence against women or domestic violence as a crime:
“Violence against women is all actions or conduct, public or private, due to her gender, that cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to a woman, through the use of physical force or psychological, verbal violence, intimidation or persecution.”
Unfortunately, some prostitutes in Sosua are using this law to their advantage. They approach a man with an offer of sex. Then if he refuses, she begins to verbally and physically assault him even at times she threatens him with physical violence or harm to the point where he is forced to defend himself.
As soon as he touches her, he has broken the law. Immediately she reports it to the police. The police arrest him. After he's in jail, the lawyers swoop in like vultures. They inform the tourist that he has broken the law and now faces up to two years in prison for domestic violence against a woman. It doesn’t matter if he was defending himself or not.
The lawyer will tell you if you give something to the girl, she will not press charges. Then everything will be alright. As a foreigner you are scared shitless and are willing to pay to make this go away. So. you ask how much. The lawyer leaves as if he goes to talk to the girl and comes back and tells you and extortionate amount of money. In Mr. Williams’ case the lawyer asked for $25,000 pesos. It is certain that he lawyer would have pocketed 90% or more of the amount.
The lawyer proceeds to tell you if you don’t pay, you can take the risk. Go before a judge and let the judge decide the case. But, in order to see a judge, you will need a lawyer. This costs about $500 USD. To make the situation look better before the judge, you will still have to pay something to the girl and hope the judge won’t sentence you to any time. Of course, the lawyer wants you give the money to them.
“Smart girls will lie to strengthen their case against you.” A local resident stated. “A common lie they’ll say is, you had sex with her and didn’t want to pay, so you beat her up.”
Fortunately for Mr. Williams, he had two things on his side. The first, the girl said she was walking down the street and then he hit her for no reason. The second, his friend happened to be staying at Hotel Villa Chessa where the owner has a lot of influence and connections in the area.
The police informed Mario, the hotel owner, that one of his guests was in jail. Mario visited Mr. Williams in jail. Asked what had happened. Spoke the police and called the judge.
Mr. Williams stated, “The police later told me not to worry. They would make this go away and I would not have to pay anything or serve any time.”
The girl and Mr. Williams were taken to Puerto Plata before the judge. Each were called in to see the judge separately. First, the judge asked the girl what had happened. She said she was walking on the street and Mr. Williams hit her for no reason.
Next he asked Mr. Williams if I had had sex with her. He replied, “No.” Then the judge asked Mr. Williams to tell him what happened.
In the end, Mr. Williams was told not to pay a peso to anybody and he was free to go.
Mr. Williams was extremely lucky. A few months earlier another tourist who had fallen victim to the same racket had to pay out over 12,000 pesos each to 3 women. The circumstances of his situation are not known, but it is certain the ladies in his case were much savvier.
The sad thing about Mr. Williams’ situation, “I wasn’t looking to pick up a girl. I went the cash machine to get some cash and I was on my way back to Club Classico to meet some friends.”
"This is a direct result of the excessive numbers of prostitutes in the city. As a result, at times it seems like there are 10 girls for every male tourist in the city.
'If you ever find yourself in this situation, do you best to make it loud and clear that you are not interested. Also get away from her as quickly as possible. Before she traps you."
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