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Girl, 12, defiled by her father, then locked up in police cell

Tuesday December 3 2019

defilement case

The 12-year-old girl from Migori County, who has accused her father of defiling her on November 1, 2019. PHOTO | IAN BYRON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IAN BYRON
By IAN BYRON
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BENSON AYIENDA
By BENSON AYIENDA
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Officers at Isebania police station are on the spot for throwing into a cell a defiled minor after she had gone to report the case.

The distraught 12-year-old girl had accused her father, a police officer, of defiling her on November 1 at their home in Nyabohanse town after luring her into his bedroom.

The victim on Tuesday told the Nation that her attempts to have the suspect arrested were futile after officers turned against her.

SEX ABUSE

They locked her up in a bid to conceal evidence of defilement and shield their colleague.

Shedding tears, the Standard Five pupil at a private school in Nyabohanse town narrated her harrowing ordeal when attempts to seek school fees from her biological father saw her sexually assaulted.

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She told the Nation that her father, a police officer who guarded a senior politician in Migori County before being interdicted from police service, lured her into his bedroom and defiled her in broad daylight.

"I went to see him to collect my fee balance on instructions of my grandmother with whom I lived. She could not afford Sh13,890 which I owed the school so I went to my father who operates a pub in Nyabohanse town,” she said.

“I was cleaning utensils when he came home that morning. He called me to his bedroom as he wanted me to do some shopping for breakfast. I was helpless as he pinned me on his bed and committed the act,'' she said.

POLICE CELL

According to the minor, she rushed out of the house weeping and ran to Nyabohanse Police Post where she reported the incident.

"I reported the incident to a female police officer, who called my father and the area chief and tried to persuade me to forgive him," she said.

At about 2 pm, she was transferred to Isebania Police Station where she was placed in a cell and, two hours later, was taken to Nyayo Hospital where she was tested and given a prescription.

The minor said she stayed in police custody for six days, sharing the cold floor with adults.

Isebania Police Station where the teenage girl
Isebania Police Station where the teenage girl was detained for six days after she was defiled by her father. PHOTO | IAN BYRON | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Officers at the station, she said, allowed in her father to check on her, only to threaten the girl to drop the case.

"When we visited her on the same evening she was arrested, the officer declined to release her, saying the national flag at the station had already been lowered and we were not allowed to see her," her grandmother told the Nation.

Attempts by the old woman and the girl’s mother to have her freed were unsuccessful.

There was no explanation as to why she was being held that long or why she was not charged or released from custody, with the officers constantly piling pressure on her to drop the case.

JUSTICE

"All we need is justice for the minor. It is sad that the police, who ought to have protected her, conspired with the suspect to torment her further,” the girl’s grandmother said.

“The suspect, who should be in custody, walks scot-free and was accessing the girl freely as we were denied any chance to see her.”

Currently, the minor is staying with a guardian whom the Nation will not name to protect the victim.

The guardian said the girl's grandmother said the medical report, P3 form, police statements and medical reports were tampered with severally to destroy the case.

"The six-day detention was a plot to conceal possible evidence of rape. Even police records and the occurrence book entries were skewed," she said on Monday.

What shocked the mother and the guardian was the fact that the medical examination revealed the minor had been infected with a venereal disease.

But, despite all this pain, hopes for justice seem to be dimming by the day.

NO EVIDENCE

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji says it seeks to close the case “due to lack of evidence”.

In a letter dated November 5 and addressed to the OCS Isebania Police Station, Mr Martin Mwongera, a senior prosecution counsel, says the case should be terminated.

“… after perusing police files and statements, I find no sufficient evidence to charge the suspect with the said offence,” the letter reads in part.

When the Nation visited Isebania Police Station on Monday, senior officers privy to the case declined to comment and instead referred us to Kuria West police chief Bernard Muriuki and Migori Police Commander Celestino Nyaga.

Mr Muriuki said attempts to take the suspect to Kehancha Law Courts twice on November 5 and 19 failed after the prosecution counsel cited lack of evidence.

However, he said he was not aware the victim was held at Isebania Police Station for six days.

"We want to duplicate all the files, including evidence and statements, and send back to ODPP for review for the minor to get justice," Mr Muriuki said.

IPOA

On his part, Mr Nyaga said they will internally investigate the matter and ensure the minor and the suspect get justice.

Nyamosense-Komosoko MCA Susan Mohabe called on the Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) and Mr Haji’s office to fast-track the case.

Mrs Mohabe said Kuria West police officers were yet to arrest suspects who gang-raped a 70-year-old woman a week ago.

“Women in this region have been turned into sex objects,” she said.

“Victims of sexual abuse and gender-based violence who attempt to seek justice from police have always met resistance. Some even receive threats from the same officers who should be protecting them.”

As the Nation was pursuing the story on Monday, police arrested a 14-year-old boy who defiled and killed a four-year-old girl in the same area.