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Nine-year court battle ends with man sentenced to 70 years in prison

On August 8, 2023, with intervention by IJM Kenya, authorities and the brave testimony of two siblings, the man, who is suspected of having abused several other children in his church, was found guilty and sentenced to 70 years in prison, bringing to an end a nine-year legal court battle.

In 2014, 14-year-old Jedi* and her 11-year-old brother Kevin* were sexually abused by a man at the church they were attending. IJM Kenya team learned about the case in December 2017 during a visit to the hospital where Jedi and her little brother were going for medical support. They decided to offer free legal representation to ensure justice was achieved. The perpetrator was very influential in the community, and the family had faced intimidation by the community who sided with him. During the trial, a police officer even approached the children’s mother and told her to accept a bribe of Ksh 20,000 (CA$184) from the perpetrator and drop the accusations, but she declined.

A team of dedicated counsellors and lawyers began working on the case immediately, since then, IJM Kenya has supported the children on their journeys of healing and transformation. After several counselling sessions, Jedi bravely decided she was able to testify against the man. But the sadness she felt knowing the other children in her school knew she had been abused and given birth to a child prompted her to leave school and enroll in a food catering course. She is now putting her training into practice, baking and selling cakes. Kevin stayed in school and IJM Kenya helped his family with his school fees.

After nine long years, the trial ended on August 8, 2023. During her ruling, the magistrate said, "I do find that the two minors were truthful witnesses, and their evidence was corroborated by medical evidence." The perpetrator was sentenced to serve 50 years for abusing Kevin and 20 years for abusing Jedi.

IJM Kenya Senior Survivor Services Specialist Esther Njuguna, who has been walking closely with the two children, could not hide her joy when she heard the magistrate pronounce the verdict in court. "What a journey towards justice! I am so pleased with this verdict and sentence because our clients have endured unimaginable suffering." She shared.

The conviction and sentencing of the perpetrator came as a sign of relief for Jedi, Kevin, and their mother. When Esther visited Jedi after the verdict, she baked a cake to celebrate with the IJM team. "Indeed, there is a God of justice in heaven, and I am happy he has been behind bars for a long time now, said Jedi when she heard about the news.



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*To protect IJM survivors, we have used pseudonyms.

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