Police in Pleebo, Maryland County Electoral District #2 have arrested and sent to court two of three suspects for allegedly gang raping a 14- year-old minor. The suspects indentified as 18-year-old Alfred Griffith, 17-year-old Bill Johnson and Suarez (reportedly on the run) were arrested on Saturday, September 19, 2020 in Zone #6 Catholic Mission.
Parents of the victim over the weekend reported to the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police in Pleebo, Maryland, about the alleged gang rape of their daughter.
The 14 years old victim was immediately rushed to the Pleebo Health Center in the county for thorough examination where health authorities medically confirmed multiple discharge of semen in her body.
According to Police Charge Sheet, the three suspects lured the victim from her parents’ home in Zone #4 Community with the influence they were taking her to an entertainment center in Zone #6 Catholic Mission to buy food.
But instead, they took her to an isolated area in the same community and allegedly raped her multiple times.The minor is reportedly in critical condition at the Pleebo Health Center due to severe pain suffered at the hands of her tormenters.
Speaking to this paper in Pleebo, the head of the Police Women and Children Protection Section said the suspects have been charged with Gang Rape and Criminal Intent.
Mr. DehmisKarplehKanneh described the alleged act as shocking and worrisome news. He disclosed that there had been previous rape cases in the county, but the act of three persons allegedly raping a minor is first of such incident reported.Though one of the suspects identified as Suraze is allegedly on the run, Police said they have launched a search in the county to bring him before the law.
Meanwhile, after spending days behind bar, the other two suspects have been charged and turned over to the Pleebo Magisterial Court, awaiting trial.The Pleebo Women and Children Protection Section of the Police said the crime contravenes Section 14.70 of the Revised Rape Law of Liberia.
The law states that a person who has sexual intercourse with a male or female forcefully has committed rape; that is, if the perpetrator(s) intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus, mouth or any other opening of another person (male or female) with his penis, without the victim’s consent; or, he/she intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus or another person with a foreign object or with any other part of the body (other than the penis), without the victim’s consent.
A person has committed Gang Rape, a first degree felony here if: He or she purposely promotes or facilitates rape or agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of conduct which shall constitute Rape. Penalties range from 10 years imprisonment to life sentence.
In August, a 38-year-old man Daniel Toe, was arrested and jailed for allegedly raping an 11-year-old minor in the same Zone#6 community in Pleebo. President George Manneh Weah has declared rape as a national emergency following rise in the crime across the country.
“As President of Liberia, it is my responsibility to lead all efforts to address social and societal irregularities and threats that befall our people or any segment of it. I have stated on many occasions that, as Feminist-in-Chief, I have zero tolerance for Sexual and Gender Based Violence. And I mean it”, the Executive Mansion quoted Mr. Weah as saying.
By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland–Editing by Jonathan Browne