Laare Policeman Defiles 13-Year old School Girl: Receives 20 Year Jail Sentence
Joseph Mutua, an Administration Police officer assigned to Laare Police Post, was found guilty on Thursday 27th October 2016 by a Maua Law Court for defiling a 13-year old school girl and subsequently jailed for 20 years.
This brings to a close a court case that had dragged in court for the last 6 years.
Maua Principal Magistrate Oscar Wanyaga when giving his ruling, said that the Prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused.
He mentioned that the valid proof of the DNA samples proved conclusively that the accused was indeed the infant’s father and furthermore that the crime had taken place when the girl was only 13 years old.
The Chief Magistrate further mentioned that the claims by the defendant’s lawyer that the man and girl were man and wife were false with no proof to validate the same.
“The police officer is meant to have protected the rights of the most vulnerable in society, who are children. I plead with this court to grant justice to the complainant,” advocate Muthomi Thiankolu said before the ruling.
Thiankolu represented Ripples International which was enjoined to the case as an interested party.
Joseph Mutua, now has 14 days to appeal his sentencing.
The case was riddled with a number of obstructions, most notably from the accused fellow Police colleagues. Knowing their colleague was in stormy waters, several of the man’s fellow police colleagues attempted to do everything possible to delay the case, prompting lengthy delays.
The accused policeman denied all knowledge of the girl and her pregnancy when the parents confronted him 9 months after the offense was committed.
Following a report to the Meru District Child Officer and the filing of a complaint case against the policeman, investigations started in earnest.
A DNA sample taken from the accused was tampered with on the way to Nairobi. On two occasions, the court files went missing, prompting a Trial postponement.
It was only after a 2nd DNA test that came out 99.99% positive, that the man admitted to sleeping with the girl. His excuse was that he thought she was over 18 years of age.
A Series Of Cover-Up’s To Prevent Justice
It came to light that the accused then tried to cover up the matter by promising to marry the girl, take care of her and provide monetary upkeep. he also promised to take her back to school.
It was after a long string of broken promises that the parents of the girl took up the matter with the Police Force, the OCPD, the local Child Protection Officer and Ripples International in an attempt to pursue justice for their daughter.
The girl’s baby was born in 2011 when the girl was in the care of Ripples International – a child trust that rescues and champions the rights of orphans and vulnerable children in society.
Ripples International accommodated the girl upon request of her parents as she awaited delivery of her baby. While the girl was at the Brenda Boone Hope Center (Tumaini), Ripples International sought justice on behalf of the girl so that the police officer, who was at large, could be brought to justice.
A Crime Of Love Or Lust?
In December 2010, Joseph Mutua was assigned to protect a local bank. One evening as the policeman watched over the front entrance of the Bank, he noticed the school girl in the company of her friend walk past him on her way home from school. He motioned her to approach him.
Afraid about why a uniformed policeman would want to talk to her, the girl cautiously approached him. The man then proceeded to talk to her and ask her to spend time with him – a request she refused.
Several days later, as she was walking home from her grandmother’s house, the same policeman called her out and this time took her by the hand and led her to a back room at the A.P Quarters, where he defiled her.
She was ordered not to tell anyone. And tell anyone she didn’t. However, as the months progressed and her body changed to accommodate a growing baby, the school teacher made contact with the girl’s parents to notify them of his student’s sudden drop in grades and unusual body language.
A series of tests at the local medical center found the girl pregnant. It was at this point that she admitted that the AP policeman had defiled her and had ordered her not to tell anyone.
Then followed a long series of broken promises and attempts by the accused to keep the matter out of court.
In 2012, the girl’s parents pulled her and her baby from Ripples International’s safe custody but the organization successfully petitioned the High Court, which ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police to investigate the case.
A Historic Win In The 160 Girls Chapter
This particular case has been one of the key landmark cases in the historic 160 Girls Initiative of 2013, championed by Ripples International to bring the Police Force to book for failing to investigate comprehensively sexual crimes against vulnerable girls in the country.
The historic High Court Ruling ordered the Police Force to leave no stone unturned to ensure that court cases of girls who were victims of sexual abuse, were exhaustively investigated and the criminals brought to justice.
The girl in this particular case was one of the 160 girls housed at the Ripples International Brenda Boone Hope Center at that time.
The girl was taken into the safe custody of the Organization when the parents realized that the girl was pregnant.
Through The Intervention Of Ripples International, Justice Is Served
Ripples International has done everything possible over the last 6 years to ensure that justice is finally served in this matter.
The organization proceeded to fund her counselling and her education, while paying all medical bills related to the pregnancy when the girl was admitted to the facility.
It was the abrupt manner that the parents of the girl removed her from the custody of the Organization that prompted Ripples International Executive Director, Mercy Chidi Baidoo to suspect that something was amiss.
Upon further investigations, it came to light that the accused had consistently bought off the parents while informing the Court that bride-price had been paid and the couple were now man and wife.
However, in court on Thursday, it was discovered that no such document or transaction had taken place between the accused and the girl’s family.
“The complainant says they are living together in Laare but the accused says they are staying together in Mombasa. This is not a matter that can be overlooked,” said Wanyanga.
Ripples International Executive Director Mercy Chidi-Baidoo, spoke to the press immediately after the Court ruling.
“This ruling proves that you cannot commit such a crime and hide. Whether you are a high ranking officer, or a senior person in society, we will find you and justice will be served.
The girl is now in Form Three and we are happy. After many delaying tactics by the defense, the matter has finally been concluded, six years later.
A Strong Show Of Support From Ripples International Staff
Mercy Chidi Baidoo was escorted to the Maua Law Courts by her team of staff from Ripples International who included the core team responsible for the safety of the girls housed at the Organization’s Brenda Boone Hope (Tumaini) Center.
Staff members present at the Maua Law Courts include Ghana Project Manager, Gideon Gichamba; Tumaini team leader Ida Njeru, Catherine Gatwiri, Phyllis Wambui, Anne Muthoni, Beatrice Kairuthi, Cornelius Kiplagat, Kevin Kinoti, Japheth Murithi, Douglas Marete, Bruce Mugambi, Fridah Kaimenyi, and interns working with the organization.
Ripples International’s Chaplain, Rev Jennifer Makuyu and Access to Justice Director John Burke Baidoo were also in attendance.