American mother sexually assaulted in Bahamas says daughter texted, ‘We’re being raped’
EXCLUSIVE – The mother of one of the women who was raped at a resort in the Bahamas said she knew “something wasn’t right” about two hours before her daughter sent a text that stopped her heart.
“Call us now that we’ve been drugged and raped,” Dongayla Dobson texted her mother, Frankie King, who spoke to Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview.
“They had a live video that they just sent or something. They were like falling all over the place,” King said. “They don’t drink much, but I’ve seen those two girls drunk. I knew something else was going on. Like something’s not right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. put on.”
That was around 9:30 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 1, the day her daughter and her best friend since fourth grade, Amber Shearer, were allegedly drugged with a laced cocktail and assaulted. . Two hours later, the King received the bone-chilling text.
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“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” King said. “Your child is in trouble, in danger and in fear, and they’re 300, 500 miles away, or whatever, across the water, and I can’t get to them.”
A resort housekeeper found Shearer and Dobson unconscious in a bathroom at the Pirate’s Cove resort on Grand Bahama Island, King said.
A nurse helped save the women’s lives, documenting their injuries and has been checking on them every day since they returned to their home in Kentucky, the doting mother said.
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But the service was difficult. It was difficult for King, his wife and their son-in-law to fully understand what was happening or when they were returning to the port in Jacksonville. And both women have children between 4 and 17.
They all waited more than 24 hours before the survivors were reunited with their families.
“I never thought how hard they were until I saw them at the airport,” King said. “It was like they were kids again. They came running into me and jumped on me. I mean, they almost put me down.
“Everything came out at once. We’re all just bawling. We stood there for I don’t know how long. They wouldn’t let go, and we’re just touching the back and says, ‘I got you. You’re safe now.’
The two women, who have been friends since the fourth grade, come from humble backgrounds. They saved money since March to take this “once-in-a-lifetime girl trip,” King said.
Throw in a couple of what the women say were drugged cocktails, and the best vacation of their lives turned into a fight for survival. They said they lost consciousness, and that’s when they were allegedly sexually assaulted.
“I vaguely remember glimpses of his face,” Dobson told “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “I don’t remember everything. I remember enough that he was a worker, that he had a goatee and that he was a local.”
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Their toxicology results came back with a a combination of drugs in their systems.
The Royal Bahama Police Force said in a statement on February 4 that they arrested two men – ages 54 and 40 – in the alleged sexual assault. Their names have not been released.
Sexual comments and threats directed at survivors and their children
Unaware of the State Department’s late January travel advisory for the Bahamas, the survivors took to social media to warn other women about the nightmare they had been through.
“That was their biggest thing when they started posting,” King said. “They wanted people to be aware that it’s a dangerous place because they felt like they had no one. We didn’t know anything about this travel warning. No one told us anything.”
There were many encouraging and encouraging responses that supported the women, according to King, including people sharing their own horrific experiences.
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But others hid behind anonymity and responded with the worst, most poisonous comments.
“There were a couple in particular that I remember,” King said. “One said something like, ‘If you hadn’t been in those bikinis, maybe it wouldn’t have happened.’ They were on a beach, and it was 90 degrees. Okay, sure.
“And then another said, ‘Well, if I had been there, I would have done the same thing.’ Some said, ‘They got what they deserved.’ Nobody deserves that. Nobody wants that.”
The poor responses arrived, saying that they are mocking and threatening their children, which made the women shut down their social media accounts.
They are all together with Dobson’s husband and their children, trying to get through the mental grief and managing the expensive medical expenses, including HIV prevention.
“My daughter is afraid that her husband will leave,” said the King. “We all support each other. I started the GoFundMe to try and get them help and support. I’ve been a nurse for 30 years, but obviously the girls are not working, and right now my son-in-law is spending this time with my daughter, so he is not working at the moment.
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“And, you know, a gallon of milk is like six bucks now, so it’s, it’s hard. Insurance only covers so much, and I still have to pay my bills. So, I can’t but to support them. But the finance is support is only a small part of it.
“Emotional support is the biggest thing we work on. When you still have to stay in the same room with your best friend because you’re afraid of being separated.”
WATCH THE FULL FRANKIE KING INTERVIEW
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Denying the resort
The resort, Pirate’s Cove, said in a statement that the women’s allegations of drugged cocktails and sexual assaults “contradict” the 16 “time-stamped surveillance videos”.
Those “long videos of everyone involved” were given to local police, and the FBI confirmed that it is also part of the investigation.
“I haven’t seen all the videos, but what we’ve seen are from different women,” according to King, who said she’s more focused on making her daughter and her “adopted” daughter again. “I know my daughter, and what I saw. It wasn’t her.”
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The resort’s statement goes on to say that it acted “swiftly” by firing two resort employees for violating resort policy.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in an unsafe manner,” the hotel’s statement says.
“We are sorry that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain committed to assisting the police in gathering evidence in response to these allegations, to give the police access to a video where the two guests were attacked.”
A war of words and 70% of the Bahamian economy involved
As the resort fights the women’s allegations with its own statement, the United States Department of State and the Bahamian government have revised down the department’s level-two travel advisory due to rising crime rates. .
“The majority of crime occurs on the islands of New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport),” according to the State Department warning at the end of Januarywho cited spikes in violent crimes such as armed robberies and sexual assaults as a result of gang activity.
Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis came out by saying that many tourist attractions share the same level two designation.
“The incidents described in the US Embassy’s January 2024 crime alert do not reflect the general safety of the Bahamas, a count of sixteen tourist destinations and many more islands,” Davis said on January 29, five a day after the US warning.
He said the Bahamian government is “responsible, vigilant and proactive to ensure that the Bahamas remains a safe and welcoming destination.”
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Almost the entire Bahamian economy is involved in tourism, which accounts for about 70% of the country’s gross domestic product and employs just over half of the workforce, according to an October 2022 report by the workers. International Trade Administration.
The Bahamas was on track to welcome more than 7 million American tourists by the end of 2023, according to the state department. The latest Investment Climate Report, which was released in 2023.
Fox News Digital Jasmine Baehr contributed to this report.