A man who defiled and impregnated a Class Eight pupil has been jailed for 15 years by a Kericho court.
Washington Odhiambo Otieno was sentenced to serve the term without an option of a fine after being found guilty of the offence by the Kericho Chief Magistrate Samuel Mokua.
The suspect, 26, was accused of abducting and defiling the 16-year-old girl in Kericho township on January 15, 2021.
According to the prosecution, the suspect was arrested on January 21 this year at his house in the township following a complaint by the victim’s mother.
The girl is said to have disappeared from her parents’ home following a disagreement with her mother, after which the accused kept her in his house overnight.
“The suspect was apprehended and taken to hospital for medical investigations along with the girl who confirmed in court that indeed, he was her boyfriend,” Mr Mokua noted while handing down the sentence.
Mr Mokua stated that the court had noted with backing from clinical officers who examined the girl that penetration had occurred as a result of sexual intercourse.
A medical examination conducted at the Kericho county referral hospital confirmed that the victim was pregnant.
She has since given birth, according to the prosecution.
Homestead of the suspect
“The victim clearly stated before court that the accused person, in this case, was indeed her boyfriend and that she had unprotected intercourse with him on the day the incident is alleged to have occurred,” Mr Mokua noted.
On that day, when the police went to the homestead of the suspect, neighbours confirmed to have seen him escorting the girl out in the morning and had not returned. He was apprehended later.
“I am pleading with this court for leniency as my parents are elderly and sickly. I am the sole breadwinner of the family,” Otieno told the court.
He pleaded with the court to give him a non-custodial sentence so that he could fend for the infant and raise money to educate the young mother.
But the court noted that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty of the offences of defilement and abduction that were preferred against him.
“There are high chances that as a young mother, the victim might not pursue her education having dropped out of school to perform parental duties,” the magistrate stated.
He said the accused person deserved a custodial and deterrent sentence for sexually exploiting a minor leading to a pregnancy.
The jail term comes amid prevalent cases of defilement, early pregnancies and school dropping out among girls in the South Rift region.
Hundreds of girls who have been impregnated were returned to school early this year following an operation mounted by education officers and administrators in Narok, Bomet and Kericho counties. – Nation Media Group