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Homa Bay priest arrested for ‘defiling Grade 4 pupil’

by kenya-tribune

Police in Homa Bay have detained a 45-year-old cleric accused of defiling a 13-year-old girl during a prayer session at his home on Sunday night.

The suspect was arrested on Monday afternoon after the case was presented to local administrators, who are under instruction to deal with rising sexual offences in the county.

The father of the girl ran away for fear of being apprehended. His wife, however, presented herself to police to record a statement over the incident.

The suspect and the girl are from the same village.

A police report says the parents of the Grade Four pupil had taken her to the suspect for prayers after she complained of being sick.

Spiritual intervention

According to neighbours, the girl had collapsed days earlier, but instead of being taken to hospital, her parents sought spiritual intervention.

Some residents and members of Roho Church, the suspect’s sect, believe he can heal the sick. And in that regard, his home is usually a hive of activity.

One neighbour said the man has four wives but separated from one some years back. He then converted her house into a shrine, from where he conducts prayers.

Homa Bay sub-county children’s officer Joseph Otieno said the mother of the victim presented her for prayers and left them alone in the shrine. It is at this moment that he allegedly defiled the girl.

“One of the wives of the suspect reported the matter to a neighbour before the same information was conveyed to the chief,” Mr Otieno said.

The chief, together with his assistants, stormed the home and arrested him.

Mr Otieno on Tuesday said the suspect would be arraigned once the girl’s mother recorded her statement.

Meantime, the girl was taken to the Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital for a medical examination.

Homa Bay Sub-county Police Commander Sammy Koskei said the suspect was held at Homa Bay police station. He expressed concern that at least six cases of defilement are reported within the Sub-county every month.

“The cases are alarming and need joint efforts to eradicate them. I call upon men to desist from violating the rights of teenage girls,” Mr Koskei said.

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