Witness says she did not ‘make up’ Bush rape allegation

| 10/07/2024
McKeeva Bush in parliament, Cayman News Service
McKeeva Bush in parliament, April 2023

(CNS): In a contentious day of cross-examination yesterday, the woman who has accused McKeeva Bush of raping her at least 24 years ago struggled to answer questions or tell the court what happened on the night of the alleged sexual assault. However, she insisted that she was not lying and challenged Bush’s attorney on why she would choose to make up something like that about McKeeva Bush, of all people, one of the most powerful men in the Cayman Islands.

Although she was unable to recall anything more than a few details of the assault and repeatedly broke down when asked about it, she told the court, “I know that it happened to me.”

The woman who has made the historical rape and sexual assault allegation against Bush cannot be identified for legal reasons.

As proceedings resumed on Tuesday morning, Jerome Lynch KC, who is representing the former Cayman Islands premier, asked the witness if she could explain what had happened when, after an ordinary enough journey, things changed, and Bush asked her to drive down a dark side road off the West Bay Road and pull over.

However, the woman became extremely distraught and was unable to offer much of an answer. She managed to tell the jury that she was scared and that she was down a dark road with a “very large person”. She said, “I didn’t know what to do, really.”

During the course of the morning, the court took several short breaks to allow the witness to compose herself as she often became very upset or defensive when asked questions about what details, if any, she could remember. Frequently declining to answer or challenging the questions asked by Bush’s attorney, she accused him of badgering her, even as the judge urged her to answer the specific questions posed.

The attorney avoided asking about the details of the alleged rape but asked her about what had happened the moments before and after, as well as the things she herself had or had not done when presented with the sexual advances from Bush, as she has claimed. Lynch often referred to “the person” as he asked her to explain her story, given that Bush has denied the incident ever occurred.

The witness was unable to recall or explain the circumstances of the ride to the location of the rape, the journey to Bush’s house after the assault, any conversation in the car before or after the fact, or who came to collect her from Bush’s home in West Bay. She could not say when they arrived or how it had been arranged for her to be collected, given that she had been driving his car, or what happened as she was taken back to her own vehicle.

Throughout the cross-examination, she frequently spoke about the size of Bush at the time and how scared she was of the situation she was in. She described him as “massive” and “humungous” and said he was “kissing and slobbering all over me”, and she wept whenever she started to speak specifically about the assault.

Although the woman has said she told Bush she did not want to do “this”, she was not sure how many times or exactly when, but she thought it might have been when they were both still in the car and he had begun “to kiss up on me”. She insisted that she was not lying and said that “his fat mouth was all over me”. As the attorney challenged the truth of her account, she told him, “You are not going to tell me it didn’t happen.”

The woman has said that she told almost no one for many years and largely kept the secret to herself. She believes she told at least one close friend very near to the time of the assault, but that person has since died. However, at some point in 2021, she found the courage to begin telling her story and began to tell people, including family members.

The court heard that among those she told were her mother, her aunt and her brother, all of whom are close to Bush. Several of them refused to believe her story and accused her of lying, and she described how upsetting it was that they all put their relationships with the politician over her.

The witness became very emotional when she recalled the conversations about the incident she had with her mother and how she had felt the need to tell her for “my own sanity”. It was also clear that she partially blamed her mother, who had put her in the position where she was sexually assaulted. It was her mother she had gone to collect because she was drunk in a bar, and it was her mother who had suggested she drive Bush home from the Sea Inn that night in his car.

The woman said that if her mother had not needed to be picked up in the first place, she would never have had to take Bush home and be placed in the position where she was raped.

The case continues.

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