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Africa

Sex Offender in Kenya Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison

5 August 2022

NAIROBI, KENYA – A Kenyan court sentenced a notorious sex offender to 100 years in prison for sexually abusing four minors under his care.

For years, the perpetrator, who is the director of a children’s home, preyed on impoverished children, promising to send them to school and provide them with a better future.

When little boys cried and protested the abuse, he humiliated them and lived as if he were above the law.

The abuses began in 2010 and were discovered in 2016 when the boys, aged 9 to 15, fled the home and reported him to authorities, leading to his arrest.

When IJM Kenya staff learned of the horrifying abuses the children were subjected to, they were particularly saddened and upset because this perpetrator was known to them.

In fact, IJM was involved in three other cases against the same perpetrator, one in which he was later acquitted. Determined to ensure he was stopped from abusing and exploiting children again, a team of lawyers and aftercare staff organised to meet the children who disclosed details of abuse perpetrated by the very person who should have kept them safe.

IJM lawyers partnered with the prosecution to represent the boys in court. IJM counsellors, who described the children as “fearful and traumatised, but determined to seek justice,” made sure they received psychosocial support. After several counselling sessions, the young boys bravely confronted their abuser and testified in court.

After a lengthy trial, the court ruled on 4 August that the prosecution had proven its case.

The magistrate who handled the trial found the perpetrator guilty of three counts of sex with a minor and one count of an indecent act, and sentenced him to serve 100 years in prison. The magistrate said

“Being a director of a children’s home, he ought to have protected the minors”

The magistrate also said the court has a responsibility to impose a harsh sentence that would be a deterrent to other would-be offenders.

“This is not a case where an accused person can be given a non-custodial sentence as it would amount to a mockery of the justice system.”

John Kangethe, an IJM staff member who walked with the boys through their journeys, was overjoyed when he heard the news of the conviction and sentencing. He said

“You could hear the trauma and humiliation they faced from their voices as they told us about their experiences. I witnessed the victims’ courage as they testified in court, and I am happy.”

The boys told the court the accused threatened them with severe consequences if they spoke about what he was doing to them. One survivor shared that he wrote anonymous notes to the accused to warn him about exposing him on Facebook. Unfortunately, the perpetrator found out that he was the author of the letters and punished him.

These are the notes the court examined. They concluded that they were truthful accounts of the boys’ ordeal.

The survivors expressed their happiness after hearing about the perpetrator’s sentence. Esther Njuguna, an IJM Aftercare Specialist in Kenya, shared:

This sentence is justice – a tremendous victory for the boys then, the boys now [and those at IJM that will never hear their stories].

Esther, who provided the boys with psychosocial support, and all IJM staff are relieved that the perpetrator can no longer harm the survivors and other children. Esther said

“How the boys cried when we broke the news after losing our first case broke my heart. I felt like we had failed them. Now, I can breathe easy knowing he will not harm another child.”

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