A woman who was allegedly defiled by a clergyman in Meru County has petitioned the Director of Public Prosecutions to intervene and ensure speedy hearing of the matter which has been postponed for one-and-a-half years.
The woman, who turned 18 years this year, was allegedly defiled by a pastor based in Laare market, Meru County but the case has never commenced since the clergyman was arraigned on March 2, 2018.
The case in which the pastor is accused of defiling the then minor and fitting her with a contraceptive device failed to kick off Tuesday due to absence of a trial magistrate.
The pastor was first arraigned on March 2, 2018 but the case has been postponed every time it comes for hearing, leaving the victim and her family frustrated.
Maua Principal Magistrate Carol Obara again pushed the matter to November 5 due to the absence of the trial magistrate.
The magistrate had suggested that the trial kick off on September 26 but the accused successfully applied to have it delayed, arguing that his lawyer was unavailable at that time.
The pastor had wanted the case postponed to February 2020.
The matter had in April this year been rescheduled to Monday on the grounds that the trial magistrate was attending a meeting.
In her statements, the victim who turned 18 this year, claims that the pastor had been defiling her since 2016 and even took her to a hospital to be fitted with Norplant, a subcutaneous contraceptive, so that she could not become pregnant.
On Monday, the complainant expressed her frustrations, saying the multiple postponements were meant to subject her to public ridicule, humiliation and deny her justice.
Accompanied by her mother and a neighbour, they raised concerns over the possible conclusion of the case, saying they were constantly barred from accessing the trial chambers to hear the arguments.
NO SPACE IN COURTROOM
“We were outside the court and did not raise any objections since we did not hear the arguments. The pastor and his followers usually fill up the courtroom and we don’t get any room,” said the mother.
The last time the complainant raised her hand to address the court, the prosecutor called her aside and told her to, instead, address the issues she had with him.
“Every time we come out of court, the pastor and his followers usually taunt us. They always fill the courtroom and we are all alone,” the complainant said tearfully.
She has been staying away from home for fear of being attacked.
The pastor is charged that between January 16, 2016 and December 19, 2017, at Kaelo centre, Antuambui Location in Igembe North, Meru County, he defiled the minor.
He faces an alternative charge of committing an indecent act with a minor by intentionally touching the minor’s private parts.
She says the pastor started having sex with her when she volunteered to stay with his children for little pay so that she could help her single mother pay school fees.