Two married men who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old pupil in Cape Coast in the Central Region and got her pregnant, have been jailed 20 years.
The two were convicted and sentenced Friday, May 31, by the Cape Coast circuit court presided over by Justice Dorinda Smith Arthur after it found the two accused persons guilty of the charges of defilement contrary to Section 101(2) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
The convicts –Kwaku Yaboe, 29 and Kwame Tawiah, 27- were separately charged and tried because the defilement happened on separate occasions.
They are to spend 8 and 12 years respectively, in prison.
According to the prosecution, Kwaku Yaboe, a 29-year-old Carpenter, who also lives in Nkafoa with the complainant and the victim, is a married man with children.
The victim most times goes to the accused room to watch a popular television program called “Who killed Lybia.”
The prosecution said in December 2018, the victim went to the accused room to watch the said television program with her younger brother (name withheld) while his wife was out of the house.
Accused sent the survivor’s younger brother to run an errand for him, and took advantage of her being alone, pushed her onto his bed, undressed and had carnal knowledge of her and warned her not to inform her parents nor his wife.
But the survivor who could no longer hide her ordeal, narrated what had happened to her father and a complaint was lodged at DOVSU Cape Coast. Police medical report form was issued to him to send the survivor to the hospital for examination, treatment, and report which he did.
In the case of Kwame Tawiah, a 27-year-old taxi driver also lives at Nkafoa in the same vicinity with the complainant and the victim. Prosecution led evidence to prove that sometime in 2018 about 7 pm the accused wife sent the victim to accompany her husband –who was going to work- to buy a pack of pork for her.
Immediately the car took off the accused sped off to a section on the on Cape Coast-Accra High and stopped at a very dark spot. He locked all the doors of the car, undressed the victim and assaulted her sexually.
Again, on 3rd February 2019 at about 1:00 pm the accused sent the victim to a certain woman in their area and on her return the accused convinced her into his room in the absence of his wife. When the victim entered the room, the accused locked the door behind her, pounced on her, managed to lay the victim on the floor and had sex with her for the second time.
The accused persons represented by their lawyer, Enoch Kofi Dzakpasu, explained that the victim looked like a girl of age and that was why they had sex with her.
Justice Dorinda Smith Arthur found that Kwaku Yaboe had sex with the victim at least twice whilst Kwame Tawiah had sex with the victim at least 8 times. The Court also found that the victim was a willing victim but held that by virtues of Section 101 of Act 29, consent is immaterial.
In the case of Kwame Tawiah the Court further found that the victim submitted to the sexual encounters because of blackmail and stern warnings meted out to the victim.
The Court also found that the medical records of the child show she is six months Pregnant. The Court observed that the victim, who is in JHS 1, has to drop out of school as a result of the pregnancy.
In mitigating their sentences the Court considered the fact that both suspects were fathers who had wives and children. The Court, however, said it was of the view that defilement was on the rise at Cape Coast and required a severe sentence to serve as a deterrence to others.
The two accused persons were found guilty and sentenced them to a total of 20 years in prison in hard labour. Kwame Tawiah is to serve 12 years while Kwaku Yeboe will serve eight years.
Renowned Human Rights activist and lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu who represented the victim, thanked the Court on behalf of the victim and her family, for the swift justice meted out to the convicts.
Lawyer Sosu also informed the Court that he had been working with the family of the victim, DOVVSU and the Social Welfare Department to make adequate provisions for the safety and welfare of the victim so she can return to school after she delivers her child.