Police in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, are on the spot over the alleged cover-up of a child molestation case involving a German.
Mr Ruhrmann Reinhard, 83, is accused of abusing a six-year-old girl under his care at Mtwapa Central Bar on Sunday.
The suspect, popularly known as Jesus, is said to have gone to the bar for lunch and a drink on Mashujaa Day when the incident happened.
Under Kenyan laws, people aged below 18 years should neither be admitted to bars nor allowed to enjoy adult company.
Detectives said the octogenarian had been living with the child in his house in the town situated approximately 16 kilometres north-east of Mombasa.
It was not immediately clear if he adopted the girl but those who know him said he had eight other minors in the house.
The police report, as filed at Mtwapa Police Station, states, "At around 4.30pm, we got tips [sic] from the public about a 'mzungu' (white man) beating up a minor of six years at Mtwapa Central Bar.
“We got reinforcement from Mtwapa Police Station, managed to rescue the girl and arrested the suspect.”
Mr Reinhard was booked at the police station but he walked to freedom a few hours later after being granted a police bond of Sh5,000.
Sources at the station told the Nation that officers there treat Mr Reinhard as a relative of the children believed to have been disciplining the girl.
Contacted on Thursday, Mtwapa police boss Esau Ochokorodi first told the Nation that investigations were ongoing and that the suspect was expected in court later in the day.
On further enquiry on the particulars of the case, Mr Ochokorodi said the matter has been handed over to the Children’s Department in Mombasa.
But junior officers who spoke to the Nation in confidence, out of fear of reprisals, said Mr Reinhard’s case "may not go far" because some witnesses had already withdrawn.
An officer privy to the case said the accused was well-connected to police chiefs in Mombasa so a court appearance would be difficult.
Mombasa, Mtwapa, Watamu, Diani, Kilifi and Malindi towns, that dot the Kenyan coastline, are notorious for child molestation and child sex tourism.
According to Trace Kenya, a child rights group, 13,000 minors engage in sex tourism in the coastal counties annually, with Kilifi county recording the highest number of teenage pregnancies.