Crime & PunishmentLiberia news

4th Judicial Circuit Court sentences man for 3 years

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

The 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Maryland County has sentenced 38-year-old Edwin Knight Adebayo to prison for three years, after his conviction by a Grand Jury for sodomizing a 12-year-old boy.

Defendant Adibayo was sentenced on Friday, July 1, 2022.

According to verdict from the court, the sentence duration includes the length of time Convict Adebayo has spent behind bar at the River Gee Central Prison in River Gee County.

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He committed the crime in Maryland County prior to the murder of the late motorcyclist Modious Nyemah, whose killing led to violent protest and destruction of the prison facility in Maryland County.

Defendant Adebayo is a shopkeeper and resident of Harper City’s Larma Cox community.

On Friday, September 24, 2021, parents of the victim alerted the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police in Harper that their son had been sexually abused by then Suspect Adebayo.

The minor was immediately rushed to a nearby health center in the county where health authorities conducted an examination and confirmed penetration.

Narrating the entire ordeal to reporters in Harper, the minor said, he had gone to buy pepper for his grandmother at a local shop operated by Suspect Adibayo when the suspect asked for his assistance to get him some water to drink.

But the victim quickly insisted that his grandmother was waiting for the pepper that he had gone to buy.

He said Adibayo then agreed but insisted that the boy should return after handing the pepper to his grandmother.

The victim continued that after delivering the paper to his grandmother, he returned quickly to assist Suspect Adibayo but the defendant asked him to come back again, this time at night, citing that someone had already assisted him with some water to drink.

“When I came back, he (Adebayo) asked me to come behind the counter in the shop and said I should take off my clothes; then he took off his clothes too”, the minor explained.

“He told me not to talk and promised to give me money and bread. That is how he put his ‘toto’ (penis) in my butt and I started crying. He later took it from there and said he didn’t enjoy it, and that I should come back next time so he can enjoy himself good.”

The child further narrated that Suspect Adebayo warned him not to tell anybody or else, he would die, so he kept silent.

However, after a few days, he felt pains in his stomach, so he immediately informed his grandmother about the act.

The Grandmother, Felecia Doe, was totally broken after noticing the situation and took the child for medical examination when doctors diagnosed the victim had been sexually abused.

Defendant Adibayo was initially arraigned before the Harper Magisterial Court on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a preliminary hearing before being forwarded to the circuit court, on grounds that the case is beyond the lower court’s jurisdiction.

Though the suspect earlier denied the allegation when he was arrested by the Liberia National Police Detachment in Harper, he spent a night behind bar before the Police forwarded him to the Magisterial Court.

But on Friday, July 1, 2022, the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Maryland County arranged the defendant before Court for final hearing of the case

After State prosecutor’s witness explanation, Adebayo was convicted and sentenced to prison for three years.

Sodomy is a breach of Section 14.70 of the Revised Rape law of Liberia which states that a person who has sexual intercourse with another (Male or Female) has committed rape if; (a) He intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus, mouth, or any other opening of another person (Male or female) with his penis without the victim’s consent.

Penalties include life imprisonment or 10 years sentence, depending on the gravity of the crime. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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