Friday, February 26, 2021

Church in pedophile rape scandal

A local church is embroiled in a sex scandal after it emerged that the church leadership has for three years been protecting a pedophile who was molesting his nine-year old niece.

The case in which a 19-year-old man is due to appear in court on rape charges is expected to open a can of worms as church leaders are likely to be brought in as accessories to the crime.

This is after it emerged that the victim’s father has for three years conspired with the church leadership to protect the sex offender from prosecution.

The suspect, a Limkokwing University student, was arrested on Sunday night after the victim’s mother reported him to the police. He is expected to appear before the magistrates’ court sometime this week. The suspect is the victim’s uncle.

The case took a complicated turn following allegations that the victim’s father knew that his younger brother had been raping his daughter for three years, ever since she was 9 years old. The victim is now 11 years old.

It is also alleged that the father took the daughter to a certain church to seek counseling for his daughter after he realized that his brother was raping his daughter.

The church leadership allegedly acceded to the victims’ father’s pleas to keep the crime away from the police. The mother was apparently clueless all along.

Information passed to The Telegraph suggests that the suspect, who is currently 19 years old, has been raping his niece since 2009, when she was 9 years old, until 2011.

The Station Commander of Sir Seretse Khama Police Station, Superintendent King Tshebo, confirmed the arrest.

“It is true that we arrested a 19-year old male on suspicions that he has been raping his niece for the past three years,” said Tshebo.

He also confirmed that investigations had revealed that the victim’s father and some church elders tried to protect the suspect and failed to report the matter to the police.

“It is still early to comment much on the issue. But we also know that the suspect is the brother to the victim’s father. But investigations are ongoing,” said Tshebo.

He urged parents to always protect their children, and never protect those who break the law.
Commenting on the issue, the Program Officer at Child Line, Olebile Machete, said it is common for some parents to prefer to protect family members. He said sometimes parents bring rape victims for counseling to Child Line, but are very hesitant to report the perpetrators.

“Why do people want to protect rapists who have violated innocent children? We will not hesitate to inform the police if we believe parents are protecting rapists,” he said.

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