FREEPORT, BAHAMAS – Two Kentucky mothers, Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, are speaking out following an alleged drugging and sexual assault incident during their vacation in the Bahamas, just days after the United States issued a travel advisory for the popular tourist destination.
The women were vacationing without their children, which took a distressing turn following an assault at a beach on Grand Bahama. Traveling by a Carnival cruise ship that had made a stop at the island, they are now seeking to caution other potential travelers.
While at the beach, the two friends accepted a two-for-one drink offer from a resort employee but soon began to suspect the beverages were unusually strong. Dongayla Dobson stated that even their family members were alarmed by videos they had sent depicting extreme intoxication just 15 minutes after the first sips.
A subsequent disorienting episode ensued as the women sought seashells, led by a resort worker. Amber Shearer’s next memory is of awakening to a uniformed man assaulting her.
The assault was eventually connected to two identified men from resort surveillance footage, one of whom had only been a resort employee for a week, according to Shearer’s statement. The Royal Bahamas police confirmed the arrest of two men- a 40-year-old from South Bahamia and a 54-year-old from Eight Mile Rock- who were associated with the allegations.
While expressing dissatisfaction with the handling of their case and formal rape test procedures, the women’s toxicology results revealed a range of drugs, including benzodiazepines. Almost no alcohol was found, but bodies showed physical evidence consistent with an assault.
On returning to Kentucky, both women have engaged legal representation and are receiving medical treatments including costly HIV prevention medication. They also voiced their criticism of Carnival, believing the cruise line failed to adequately warn them about the US State Department’s travel advisory for the Bahamas, which was issued in the wake of crime and violence concerns.
Despite Prime Minister Philip Davis asserting the safety of The Bahamas for tourists just days prior to the incident, the US advisory was issued due to crimes that resulted in 18 January murders alone. In response to the mothers’ claims, Carnival stated it is fully cooperating with the Bahamian police investigation.