NAIROBI, KENYA - On Thursday, August 4, 2022, a Kenyan court sentenced a notorious sex offender to 100 years in prison for sexually abusing four minors under his care.
For years, the perpetrator, who is the director of a children’s home, preyed on orphans, street children, and other impoverished children, promising to send them to school and provide them with a better future.
Even when the little boys cried and protested the abuse, he humiliated them and lived as if he were above the law.
The abuses began back in 2010 and were only discovered in 2016 when the boys, aged between 9 to 15, fled the home and reported him to authorities, leading to his arrest.
When IJM Kenya staff learned of the horrifying abuses the children were subjected to, they were particularly saddened and upset because this perpetrator was known to them.
In fact, IJM was involved in three other cases against the same perpetrator, one in which he was later acquitted. Determined to ensure he was stopped and could not abuse and exploit children ever again, a team of lawyers and aftercare staff organized to meet the children who disclosed details of abuse perpetrated by the very person who should have kept them safe.
IJM lawyers partnered with the prosecution to represent the boys in court. IJM counsellors, who described the children as "fearful and traumatized but determined to seek justice," made sure they received psychosocial support. After several counselling sessions, the little boys bravely confronted their abuser and testified in court.
After a lengthy trial, the court ruled on August 4, 2022, that the prosecution had proven its case.
The magistrate who handled the trial found the perpetrator guilty of three counts of [sex with a minor] and one count of an indecent act and sentenced him to serve 100 years in prison.
While finding him guilty, the magistrate said, “being a director of a children’s home, he ought to have protected the minors."
The magistrate also said the court has a responsibility to impose a harsh sentence that would be a deterrent to other would-be offenders.
“This is not a case where an accused person can be given a non-custodial sentence as it would amount to a mockery to the justice system,” the magistrate ruled.
John Kangethe, an IJM staff who walked with the boys through their journeys, was overjoyed when he heard the news of the conviction and sentencing.
"You could hear the trauma and humiliation they faced from their voices as they told us about their experiences," John said. “I witnessed the victims' courage as they testified in court, and I am happy.”
The minors, in their evidence, had told the court how the accused used to threaten them with dire consequences, should they talk about what he was doing to them.
One of the boys said the perpetrator would read bible verses after the abuse. Another victim said the director had threatened to curse him.
Another victim testified in court how he wrote anonymous notes to the accused with ‘bad’ handwriting to hide his identity. In the letter, he warned the accused that he would expose him on Facebook if he did not end the abuse.
Unfortunately, the perpetrator found out that he was the author and he punished him. He told the little boys that “he was working hard to help them, but they wanted to embarrass him.”
These are the notes the court examined and concluded that "they were truthful accounts of the ordeal the boys went through."
And when the little boys heard that the man who abused them had been sentenced, in a probation report to the court, they said they were happy with the verdict and wanted him handed a significant sentence so that “he does not leave and harm more children.”
“These are the kinds of cases that never leave you. God’s timing is the best, he surely does not tarry! This sentence is justice….a tremendous victory for the boys then, the boys now and those that IJM will never hear their stories,” IJM's Aftercare specialist Esther Njuguna said.
Esther, who provided the boys with psychosocial support, and all IJM staff are relieved that the perpetrator, who caused the boys great pain and humiliation, is now behind bars and will not harm them or any other child in the future.
Said Esther, "How the boys cried when we broke the news when we lost our first case broke my heart. I asked God so many questions, I felt like we had failed them. Now I can breathe easy knowing he will not harm another child.”
One of the victims is still in school, while the rest have completed college.