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HomeNewsLocal news6 Months After 7 Violence-Against-Women Arrests in 7 Days

6 Months After 7 Violence-Against-Women Arrests in 7 Days

Six months later, the fate of seven men accused of violence against women in seven days rests with the court. (Shutterstock image)

It was a July week like none in recent memory: seven young men arrested in just seven days, all for alleged acts of violence against women. Six months later, four of the accused remained behind bars, with one awaiting involuntary commitment for psychiatric care. Two have been released on bail, paid for by a grandmother and an aunt.

Police at the time of the arrests said the alleged attacks were not unusual. It was women coming forward to report the assaults, break-ins, and acts of intimidation that were outside the norm. And while the victims carry physical and emotional scars, their alleged attackers have forfeited freedom and reputation for the seemingly senseless outbursts.

Osei Edwards: detained, involuntary commitment pending

About a half hour before dawn, July 17, 2023, a St. Croix woman woke to make breakfast for her boyfriend. After he left, she went back to sleep with her two small children. She woke again to find a man she’d known since childhood, whom she believed to have severe mental illness, in her bedroom attempting to sexually assault her, according to court records.

The woman kicked him in the stomach. She pushed him out onto the balcony where he’d allegedly torn a screen to gain entry. As she pushed him, he allegedly grabbed her wrist and said he’d come to get his bicycle. She called police to say it was 23-year-old Osei Edwards.

Edwards had a long history of arrests without conviction for destruction of property, burglary, and assault, allegedly terrorizing his own mother for years. Prosecutors, as well as defense attorneys, have attempted to have Edwards found to be insane and involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Bureaucracy and prosecutorial bungling allowed him to go free time and again.

Despite being warned by a judge to stay away from his mother, police found Edwards in her home, where he’d asked her to make him breakfast, according to court records.

Edwards was charged with burglary, unlawful sexual contact, aggravated assault and battery, destruction of property, and forcible unlawful entry.

After a psychiatric evaluation, Edwards’ case was being resolved in Family Court, where records of legal proceedings are difficult to obtain. He was “placed in the custody and case of the Department of Health and the Bureau of Corrections.” As of early January, Edwards was in detention pending the results of an effort to have him involuntarily committed. Burglary charges in Superior Court were dropped in October, according to court records.

Emeka Watson: out on bail, awaiting trial

About 12 hours after Edwards’ arrest, another St. Croix woman called police to report a casual romantic interest, Emeka Watson, had broken into her apartment using a car battery. The woman lived on the mainland and had come back to St. Croix to celebrate her birthday. She had met Watson via social media and the two struck up a non-exclusive relationship. The woman told police she started to distance herself from Watson when the 21-year-old became controlling, ringing her phone repeatedly until she answered.

On July 17, she turned down Watson’s offer of a date and instead prepared to go to a movie with a friend. When Watson allegedly started slamming the car battery against her door, she and the friend locked themselves in a bedroom and called 911. Hearing breaking glass, the two women sneaked out to see what was happening. Watson allegedly briefly left, then returned, threatening to beat the woman. They hid again.

Watson was charged with burglary, domestic violence-related aggravated assault, destruction of property, and disturbance of the peace. Watson’s grandmother posted $1,005 bail July 19 and he was released. His trial is scheduled for April 4. He had pleaded not guilty.

MarcAnthony Hosien: unclear

A St. Croix woman came to the police station the evening of July 18 to report the father of her children had beaten her and trapped her in a cistern for arriving late to his home. She told police her romantic relationship with MarcAnthony Hosien had ended two years earlier but he had continued to terrorize her — to the point she did not report the most recent incident for more than a week for fear of reprisal.

Sobbing, the woman told police 22-year-old Hosien hit her repeatedly late that night, dragged her by the hair, took her phone and keys, and removed the cistern cover in his bedroom. He told her to get in, threatening to kill her if she refused, according to court records.

“The victim stated that she feared for her life and safety because she was well aware of Mr. Hosein’s evil tendencies when he is upset, so she followed his orders and went into the cistern,” the police report reads.

When he allowed her to leave the water catchment, Hosien reportedly warned her not to tell police, saying he would kill her or have his friends shoot up her house. She did not report the crime.

A few days later, on July 15, Hosien asked her to come over again, this time to see their infant child. Hosien was more interested in the woman’s food assistance card, however. When she refused to turn the food stamp card over — saying she needed it to buy milk for their child — Hosien became irate, she told police. He beat her with a rod as she held the child. This time she did go to police.

Hosien was charged with false imprisonment, assault and battery, robbery, and child abuse. Pre-trial conferences were to start in late October, with a likely November trial date, but court records don’t extend beyond late August. It was unclear when a trial might start.

Jordan Clendinen: detained, awaiting trial

Police arrested Jordan Clendinen on St. John July 19, 2023, almost eight months after the 27-year-old allegedly shot at a home where his ex-girlfriend had gone to escape him.

Police said the woman had taken refuge at a co-worker’s house shortly before midnight Nov. 28, 2022, after a domestic violence incident. Clendinen allegedly showed up sometime before 4:30 the next morning, asking to speak to the woman. He dropped off some of her things then entered the Freemans Ground home of the woman’s co-worker without permission. When the co-worker advised Clendinen to leave, he allegedly walked outside and fired eight shots at the building.

Surveillance footage showed Clendinen driving away in a white 2002 Chevy Malibu, according to court records. Police recovered six shell casings from the driveway.

The court had issued a warrant for his arrest Dec. 1, 2022.

Police arrested Clendinen near the St. John ferry dock. He was charged with assault, trespassing, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unlawful entry, possession of a firearm while committing a crime and disturbing the peace.

Clendinen’s attorney asked the court to allow his family to post just 10 percent of his $750,000 bail. He was not granted bail, however, in part because defense attorneys had not listed a proper guardian. Clendinen remained detained during pre-trial motions. He had pleaded not guilty.

Jackoy Mulraine: detained, awaiting trial

Police arrested 25-year-old Jackoy Mulraine on July 20, 2023, for allegedly beating a St. Thomas woman unconscious as she sat with her child outside a deli five days earlier. Police responded to reports of an assault in St. Thomas on the afternoon of July 15 to find the woman beaten badly enough to need medical attention at Roy Schneider Hospital.

Mulraine, also known as Jahkoy Mukraine, had allegedly groped the victim’s friend’s breast. The friend did not speak fluent English so the victim allegedly told Mulraine he was out of line. Mulraine became irate and threatened to get a gun and kill everyone present. He then repeatedly punched the woman, fracturing her eye socket, according to court reports. People nearby pulled Mulraine away as the victim slipped in and out of consciousness, police said.

Mulraine was charged with assault, mayhem, unlawful sexual contact, and disturbing the peace.

That same day, prosecutors amended charges from New Year’s Day, when Mulraine allegedly carried unauthorized ammunition and an unlicensed firearm with an altered identification number near Sts. Peter and Paul School.

Mulraine’s attorneys asked he be released on reduced bail but a Superior Court magistrate denied the request, saying Mulraine was a danger to the public.

Mulraine has pleaded not guilty. A potential trial date was not clear.

Jose Jaheim Perez: out on bail, awaiting trial

On July 24, 2023, police arrested Jose Jaheim Perez. The 19-year-old allegedly raped a woman who had been braiding his hair on July 5 in Bethlehem Village, Frederiksted.

The victim told police she turned down Perez’s offer of sex — slapping his hands away from her buttocks — before he forced himself on her, picking her up and throwing her on a bed.

Perez claimed the sex was consensual and initiated by the victim, according to police. He said his first indication she was not interested in sex was a text days later. He replied: “My bad, ain’t even like dat mehn u just had look so sweet and suh.”

Both the alleged victim and Perez acknowledged he had given her $20 for gas after the encounter, although they disagree on other elements of the evening.

Perez was charged with first-degree rape. He has pleaded not guilty. Court records were unclear but sometime after Aug. 11, 2023, Perez was released into the custody of his aunt, who has been paying his bail in installments.

Heriberto Perez: detained, awaiting trial

Also, on July 24, 2023, police arrested Heriberto Perez on burglary, assault, and destruction of property charges related to domestic violence. The 26-year-old Perez allegedly broke into a St. Croix woman’s home early in the morning July 5. The victim reported Perez was clutching a rifle as they argued about cellphones and a television. Perez was upset that the victim was dating someone else and may have given him a sexually transmitted infection, police said. He allegedly broke a mirror, pushed the woman, and threw a phone near where a child was sleeping.

The victim said Perez eventually left but waited in his car outside with the gun, allegedly daring her to call the new boyfriend.

It was Perez’s second domestic violence arrest this year. In April, he allegedly destroyed the apartment of the mother of his child — stabbing a sofa, breaking the baby’s humidifier, spreading bleach on clothing, and cutting the electric fan’s cord. The victim was breaking up with him because he had been unfaithful, she told police. Later that day, she found herself followed by Perez as she drove down Queen Mary Highway. She turned into her grandmother’s driveway to escape Perez but he blocked her in, according to court records.

Video surveillance allegedly shows Perez running up to the car, slamming the woman’s head into the steering wheel, and punching her repeatedly.

Perez was charged with false imprisonment, simple assault and battery, and destruction of property — all related to domestic violence. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in detention, unable to make a $75,000 bail.

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