Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 21 June 2012
A 79-year-old German pensioner, Gerlard Kusterer, who allegedly abducted and defiled a 15-year-old girl at a hotel in Accra, on Thursday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused, who also took nude pictures of the girl and other victims in a hotel room, pleaded not guilty to abduction of an unmarried female under 18 years and defilement.
Kusterer, however, pleaded guilty to obscenity but the court presided over by Ms Sedina Agbemava remanded him and deferred sentence to July 3.
Emelia Nortey, a receptionist of Mascot Hotel, where the alleged incident took place, was joined with Kusterer for allegedly permitting defilement in the hotel.
However, the court noted that Emelia could not be held for the offence, rather the owner of the hotel.
The court advised the prosecution to drop charges against Emelia and hold the owner of the hotel liable.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sarah Acquah, withdrew the charges against Emelia and she was discharged pending the substitution of the charge sheet.
ASP Acquah told the court that the complainant, Mr. Kwabena Boakye, is a security officer residing at Korle-Gonno, and the victim is his sister who lived with her parents at Amrahia, Accra.
The prosecution said on May 25, this year, at about 1400hours, the victim visited the complainant at Korle Gonno and they both went to the beach.
The victim informed the complainant that she was hungry so the complainant left the victim and went to buy food for her.
ASP Acquah said while eating, a man whose name was not known, joined the victim at her table and engaged her in a conversation.
The prosecution said Kusterer also joined them and bought a bottle of Guinness for the victim and bought a bottle of beer for himself.
ASP Acquah said the unknown man sent the victim to town and bought various items for her and lured her to Mascot hotel at North Kaneshie and the unknown man left leaving the victim and Kusterer in the hotel.
The prosecution said Kusterer defiled the victim and kept her in his hotel room and on June 13, this year, Kusterer again defiled the victim at about 1735 hours and took nude pictures of the girl with his digital camera.
Two days later, the victim fell ill and escaped from the hotel and disclosed her ordeal to the complainant.
ASP Acquah said the complainant on June 19, reported the case to Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Accra, and a medical form was issued to the complainant to send the victim to the hospital for examination and treatment.
The prosecution said the same day; the Police in the company of the complainant went to Mascot Hotel and met Emelia at the reception, who told the Police that Kusterer had left his hotel room.
The Police persisted and entered the room and arrested Kusterer, who in his caution statement denied defiling the victim but maintained that he took nude pictures of her and other girls and saved them on his camera.**