A 59-year-old American paedophile who sexually abused Kenyan children and captured the images on tape will spend the next 50 years of his life behind bars for his heinous acts.
Mr Terry Ray Krieger, a repeat offender, was Tuesday handed the 50-year jail term by a Nairobi court after he had pleaded guilty to a charge of child pornography.
Senior Principal Magistrate Joseph Karanja, while convicting the American, warned that the particulars of the charge against the self-confessed paedophile failed to capture “the depravity of the evidence seized from the American and which he saw in the video images and Internet chat messages” he exchanged with fellow paedophiles before he was arrested a month ago in Kajiado.
The FBI had sent an alert to the Kenyan government about Mr Krieger, who previously served a 13-year jail term in the US, after his communication and photos of the children he abused in Kenya were intercepted on the Internet.
“He was charged with child pornography contrary to Section 16 sub- section (a) of the Sexual Offences Act.
"The prosecution has submitted at length and given authorities in support of their request for a severe sentence, possibly life, as submitted by the prosecuting counsel,” the magistrate said.
He said that in mitigation the defence had asked the court principally to consider Mr Krieger’s “paraplegic condition”.
“I have perused the evidence adduced by the prosecution and I must state that the wording of the charge does not in any way exhibit his depravity in the images, videos and Internet chat messages, and for lack of a negative superlative I can only say that the exhibits are horrific,” the magistrate said.
He said Mr Krieger targeted the most vulnerable in society, children, “who occupy a special place in our society and minds”.
“All of us in our respective positions in society became who we are because of the care we got from adults as we grew up,” the magistrate said.
He said Mr Krieger “robbed his young victims of their innocence” and hoped that they would outgrow “this unfortunate episode of their lives”.
“It is very disturbing that these acts have been going on undetected by the parents, guardians and minders of the children.
"Perhaps it is a pointer to the accused’s subtlety and perfected art of procuring minors to engage in these despicable sexual acts,” Mr Karanja said.
He said reformation for Mr Krieger was not an option since he was a repeat offender who had been jailed before in his home country for similar offences.
Mr Krieger was arrested following the FBI alert, which indicated that an American was engaged in distributing child pornography made in Kenya.
He had been on the run since 2008, when he was charged in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern District, for the offences of possession of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
CONDITION NO EXCUSE FOR CRIMES
“The fact that he is paraplegic is no excuse for the crimes that he has confessed to.
"There are many paraplegic persons who lead lawful lives and do not engage in crime,” the magistrate said.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu applied for extradition orders upon completion of the sentence.
The pending extradition request was made by the US government, which wants Mr Krieger to face trial in a separate case of child pornography that the FBI investigated in 2008.
He used computer software to receive images from other offenders and to distribute his own.
In the Kenyan case, he was accused of abusing a boy and a girl aged 3 and 6 years, respectively, and who police said were his neighbours at Olepolos, Kajiado.
He later sent still and video images of the heinous acts to another paedophile, currently detained in a German jail.
The case in US started on November 7, 2006, when an FBI agent working undercover signed into the software network and searched for possible child pornography files, which were later found to originate from Mr Krieger’s computer, according to the evidence in court.
He maintained a “large number of child pornography images and videos”.
Mr Krieger was once arrested in 1992 by the Grand Rapids Police Department on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree aggravated sexual conduct.
He was convicted of the second count involving a person under the age of 13 and was jailed for 13 years but was released from prison in May 2005.
Delivering the sentence on Tuesday, Mr Karanja said it was a deterrent, but he warned that Mr Kreiger “remains a risk to society in general and to children in particular”.