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Woman who caused own miscarriage walks free

A 32-year-old cruise ship worker who took a drug to cause her own miscarriage walked free from court after a judge said society would not be served by a harsh punishment.

Arlene Cauyo Peralta, a Filipina national, was given a three-month conditional discharge at Supreme Court this week after she admitted taking misoprostol on August 6 while in Bermuda to induce a miscarriage.

Peralta’s partner Rakesh Anand Shetty, an Indian citizen who was also a crew member on the Norwegian Dawn, was also given a three-month conditional discharge after he pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves said that it was a “sad situation” and that the “law has always recognised that justice should be tempered by mercy”.

He added there was no reason why the two should be detained any further and that Bermuda society would not be served by harsher penalties.

Mr Justice Greaves said: “In the circumstances the court does find some great degree of sympathy.

“Frankly, I favour an absolute discharge in these circumstances.

“However, it has been put that a conditional discharge is not unreasonable.

“I cannot disagree with that. It does not need to be long. They are not likely to commit any further offences.”

The offence was discovered after Shetty, 35, was stopped by Norwegian Dawn security staff as he tried to take the 22-week foetus off the cruise liner in his rucksack on August 8.

The discovery sparked a police investigation that ended in both Peralta and Shetty being charged with criminal offences.

They pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday before Mr Justice Greaves.

Misoprostol, first developed for the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers, is also used by medical practitioners to induce abortions.

The court heard that both Peralta and Shetty worked on board the Norwegian Dawn as waiters when Peralta became pregnant.

She told police that she had bought the misoprostol in Mexico legally in April.

But she only took the drug to cause the miscarriage when the ship was berthed in Bermuda.

During Monday’s sentencing Peralta apologised for her actions saying: “I did not think to do anything wrong here in Bermuda.

“I was really confused because I love my job and I don’t want to go home because I am thinking about my future and family and his [Shetty’s] future.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.