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Thirty-two years old Emmanuel T. Copper has been incarcerated for allegedly raping a 14-year-old minor in Harper, Maryland County. On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Inspector Shirley N. Teah of the Harper Police station alerted the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police in Harper that the 14-year girl was sexually abused when health authorities at the J.J. Dossen Hospital conducted examination and confirmed penetration of the victim.

Suspect Emmanuel T. Cooper is a resident of Bishop Hill Community and an officer of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS). He is also a cousin of the minor.Narrating the ordeal, the 14-year old girl said, on Sunday, May 9, 2021 while taking bath at night, the suspect allegedly went behind her and sexually abused her for the first time.

She disclosed that the suspect then told her not to tell anyone, threatening that if she did, he would harm her. According to her, she did not alarm until the second time on May 12, 2021, during the night hours when she was sexually abused again by the same suspect.

The victim explains that while watching movies at a neighbor’s premises in the same community, Suspect Cooper asked her to follow him to the house to eat Ajakeh and she followed.
She said when they both arrived at the house, she decided to use the rest room so she later went at the rear of their house to toilet, but suspect Cooper again rushed on her and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her for the second time.

The 14-year minor stressed that based on her uncle’s second action, she couldn’t bear the pains anymore so she informed some community members whose names were not disclosed.
However, those community dwellers admitted to the Liberia National Police the victim had complained to them, concerning the gruesome act of Suspect Emmanuel T. Cooper’s.

The suspect, when interrogated by Police, admitted to the allegation but stated that he had chickenpox on his skin and herbalist prescribed that he drink wine, so on May 12, 2021, he drank alcohol excessively which caused him to unconsciously have sex with his cousin.The 32 years old suspect however appealed to the victim’s family and the Police to pardon him, saying was tempted by the devil.

Meanwhile, Police on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 charged Suspect Cooper with Statutory Rape which violates Section 14.70(B) coupled with Incest, which breaches Section 16.2 of the Revise Rape Law of Liberia. The suspect has be forwarded to court for trial.

Section 14.70 of the Revised Rape Law states, 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 gravity of the crime.
Rape cases in Maryland County are said to becoming. On Saturday, September 19, 2020 three suspects were arrested and sent to Harper Magisterial court for allegedly gang-raping a 14-year-old in Pleebo, Maryland Electoral district#2, while on Saturday, August 8, 2020, a 38-year-old male was incarcerated for allegedly raping a girl, 11, in Pleebo City. Then on Saturday, May 8, 2021 a 30-year-old classroom teacher was sent to Harper Magisterial Court for sexually molesting a six-year girl, among other reports of similar incident in the county.

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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