Man jailed five years for rape freed after girl says she lied
- Kamau Muthoni 08th May 2019 00:00:00 GMT +0300
A pupil’s lie to a teacher to escape punishment for being late landed her uncle a five-year jail term for “defilement”. The Standard Seven pupil reported to school late, sometime in May 2014, and, to avoid being punished, she told the teacher her uncle had defiled her. The teacher reported the matter to the police.
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The uncle would later be charged with defilement, and after a four-month trial, he was imprisoned for 20 years. AJC was jailed on September 12, 2014, following the testimony by the victim, named CSS. Four years later, the girl who is now 18, confessed to her mother and also wrote to the court that she fabricated lies against her uncle. “I testified in court and said that I would tell the truth. I was untruthful because I feared. I had been late in school and when I was asked where I was, I told a lie. If I had told the truth, I would have been beaten. It was the teacher who took the matter to the police. When I heard that A had been sentenced to 20 years, I felt very bad and that is why I called my mother. AJC has never defiled me,” her letter seen by The Standard read in part. AJC had paid the family a visit and had stayed for one day.
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High Court judge Edward Muriithi ordered that CSS be punished for telling lies.
Justice Muriithi, however, left the matter up to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. “The complainant, on her admission before this court, lied in her testimony before the trial court, and in terms of section 19 (2) of the Oaths and Statutory Declarations Act committed an offence. The matter shall be reported to the DPP who, in exercise of the State’s prosecutorial powers under Article 157 of the Constitution, shall consider in his discretion whether to prosecute the complainant in this case who admitted to have lied as a minor before the trial court,” the judge ruled. She now risks two years in jail and a fine of Sh2,000, or both, according to the law governing oaths and testimonies before a judge or magistrate. The DPP did not oppose the girl’s desires to have her uncle set free. The mother pleaded with the court to release her brother. She said she was not aware that her daughter had fabricated lies against her uncle. She neither attended nor testified in the case. “The child told me later after AJC had been sentenced to 20 years in jail that her claim was not true,” she said. The court heard that the girl decided to come clean to free herself from the guilt that has been tormenting. She told the judge in her letter that no one had induced her to retract her testimony. It emerged that the teen had also tried to reach out to her uncle while in jail. She sent a friend to tell him that she regretted that he was arrested for an offence he never committed. Her friend named as MJ also testified in court, saying that she knew that her uncle had been fixed from the time the case was heard by the magistrate’s court. Justice Muriithi acquitted the man and ordered his immediate release. “The appellant shall be acquitted of the charge of defilement contrary to section 8 (1) and 8 (3) of the Sexual Offences Act and the sentence of imprisonment for 20 years is set side,” the judge ruled.
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