The guardian of a 15-year-old girl who was defiled by a boda boda rider in Homa Bay has shocked her neighbours and police after declaring that she has forgiven the suspect.
Even after medical reports indicated that Mr Ben Orage, 30, defiled the minor, her aunt (name withheld), a public health officer, on Friday said she is not interested in the case.
The guardian claimed she is a Christian and may not like to see Mr Orage languish in jail because of her.
"Despite confirming that the incident took place inside my house, my father, who is a police officer, has warned me against pursuing the case," she claimed.
The sexual assault allegedly took place at the woman's house in Homa Bay town.
On the fateful day, the minor told the Nation, Mr Orage, who has the 'forgiving' woman on his client list, took the health officer to work as usual.
He then returned to her house to find the minor performing house chores.
The minor said the suspect, who is well-known to the whole family, demanded a massage from her.
She said Mr Orage wanted her to massage his hands before closing the door and window curtains.
He dragged her to the bedroom, she narrated as she fought back tears.
After the defilement, Mr Orage fled while the minor sought help from a high school teacher who reported the matter to Homa Bay Police Station.
The victim, a Standard Seven pupil at a primary school in Siaya, came to Homa Bay to help her aunt with house chores after schools closed.
The woman’s house help fled a month ago for unknown reasons.
Homa Bay County Police Commander Marius Tum confirmed the incident, saying the woman and Mr Orage had told investigators that they would settle the case out of court.
"The guardian of the minor has persuaded us to drop the case but we are reading ill-motive in her agenda. She could have been compromised," said Mr Tum.
He said they would charge Mr Orage in court but, according to Evans Oloo, a local rights activist, the man was arrested and released under unclear circumstances.
Mr Oloo said a police officer investigating the matter urged them to stop pursuing the case.
"An officer investigating the matter advised us to stop it because the aggrieved (parties) are no longer interested in it. He asked: ‘If the defiled minor is not interested in the matter, who are you to pursue it?’" Mr Oloo said on Friday.
Mr Tum, however, told journalists that the suspect was released on cash bail to give police more time to investigate the case.
Under Kenyan laws, he said, the suspect could not spend more than 24 hours in cells without being charged.
"The culprit is within our reach. We are going to arraign him over the nature of crime he committed," he said.
Mr Tum said they were also investigating why the guardian is no longer interested in the case.
Mr Oloo said it was unfortunate that the defilement occurred as Kenya observes 16 days of gender activism.