KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (CMC) – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines police said Friday it had “never arrested” a radio announcer when he made remarks regarding a matter now before the courts.
Earlier, Police Commissioner Michael Charles said he awaiting the outcome of an investigation into an incident in which the radio announcer, Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell had been taken to the Central Police Station reportedly over a discussion on air about two students having sex.
Charles told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that he would like to defer comment until after the investigation, but said he was informed of the incident on Wednesday.
The station, Hot 97 FM, said in its newscast Thursday that Barnwell, was escorted to police headquarters “to answer questions” about the discussion.
“Three members of the Police force, in addition to an escort truck with officers came to carry me in for questioning on things that I allegedly said (things that I never said),” the announcer later posted on his Facebook page.
The on-air discussion was about a video said to have surfaced on social media some weeks ago showing a 17-year-old male student and a 13-year-old girl, also a student, having sex.
Reports are that while the sex act appears to be consensual, statutory rape charges have been brought against the male student, since, according to the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a 13-year-old cannot legally consent to sex.
The male student is also said to have been suspended from classes, pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
“The police were unable to present any evidence of wrongdoing and seems to be acting on hearsay, with the morning host being released after a brief conversation with the Assistant Commissioner of Police,” Hot 97 said in its newscast.
But in a statement, the police said the announcer was invited to visit the police station so that Assistant Commissioner Frankie Joseph could “speak to him in relation to discussing matters on the air that are before the court.
“During the process the situation escalated. However, Barnwell was never arrested by the police,” the statement said, adding that “at no time during the radio programme did Mr. Barnwell use pornography”.
The statement said that Barnwell was also invited to a meeting with the police commissioner and senior police officials to discuss the matter.