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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

MOJ proposes DNA test in SOS Village rape saga

By Kruah Thompson

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Jr. has proposed a DNA test to be conducted on the child of the 15 years old SOS rape victim, barely a month after she gave birth in Grand Bassa County.

In December 2021, the formal SOS Country Director Augustine Alieu was accused of allegedly raping and impregnating a 15-year-old minor at the SOS Village in Grand Bassa County.

Prior to the accusation, the Ministry of Justice purposely refused to arrest and detain the accused in line with the “non-Bailable crime which requires alleged perpetrators to be in police custody ‘till proven not guilty.

A person accused of rape is accordingly arrested and detained until a medical report is given. But the act was never taken against suspect Augustine Alieu since the genesis of the case.

After the incident was reported to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in December 2021, the victim was taken to her 22 years old sister in Clara town, pending investigation.

However, since the incident, Deputy Gender Minister for Social Protection Sherman failed to condemn the act, but only spoke when she was accused by one of the executive members of the SOS Village Mr. Saye Maye Cole.

According to Mr. Saye Maye Cole, the Deputy Minister was compromising, accusing her of being the fiancee of the former SOS boss, a claim Minister Sherman denied.

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Cole said, without proper care, the rape victim was left to walk almost a mile to the police station for investigation where on several occasions, he added, she encountered the perpetrator Augustine Alieu, who allegedly impregnated her.

A week later, Deputy Minister Sherman filed a lawsuit at the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court in Montserrado County.

In her complaint to the civil law court, she indicated that Saye Maye Cole herein on Monday, May 5th, 2022, with malicious intent to injure and damage her reputation developed over many years and without any color of right, wrote, published an article in the New Dawn Newspaper and held several press conferences, email exchanges, including Facebook publication, blaming her for compromises when in fact, the matter was still being investigated by the Liberia National Police.

In a special interview held at her office in Congo Town, the deputy Gender minister angrily said the action of Saye Maye Cole is false, malicious, reckless, and irresponsible, purely intended to tarnish and damage her hard-earned character built over the period.

Notwithstanding, the victim has given birth and the Justice Minister has scheduled a DNA test on the baby today, Tuesday, August 09, 2022, to establish whether suspect Augustine Alieu did commit the crime. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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