Regional News of Wednesday, 29 September 2004
Source: C. kusi - [email protected]
An 11-year-old Pupil?s Ordeal
On June 12 2004, a young girl now 12 years old (name withheld) was allegedly gagged and raped by her teacher at the Mmofraturo preparatory school in Kumasi, few days before her 12th birthday. The suspect, Mr. Boateng Agyenim, a veteran teacher at the Mmofraturo School and the class teacher of the victim, was arrested by the Suame Nkwanta Police, following a report by the victim?s mother, Madam Fordjour who is a single mother. He was however granted bail the same day to roam the streets freely, in spite of the severity of his alleged crime and the serious threat he poses to other minors.
The then 11 year-old girl who until her nightmarish experience, was a virgin, has since been admitted in and out of the hospital following the trauma. Narrating the ordeal to family members, the victim said that her teacher, Mr. Boateng Agyenim, sent her to buy oranges for him, and on her return lured her to a bathroom in one of the campus dormitories. Mr. Boateng then proceeded to rape the not-yet twelve year-old with impunity and brute force ?he tied her lips, hands and legs to subdue her.
According to Madam Fordjour, when her daughter returned home from school on that fateful day, she looked cold and traumatized. At first, like most rape victims, the little girl was in denial and was reluctant to speak about the ordeal to her mother. But on persistent questioning, the girl recounted the ordeal in graphic detail, including threats made by Mr. Boateng that the little girl would die if she told anyone about the encounter.
Madam Fordjour wasted no time in reporting the incident to the police and then proceeded to the hospital to have her daughter examined. Upon examining the girl, the hospital authorities confirmed that she had sustained serious physical and psychological injuries consistent with rape. In fact, Dr. Frank Serebour of Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, who examined and treated the victim and issued a report dated June 14th 2004 to this effect.
School?s Reaction When Madam Fordjour informed the headmistress of Mmofraturo, Ms. Adoma, her reaction to the rape incident was disappointing, to say the least. She discouraged Madam Fordjour from contacting the police and even failed to investigate the case herself to identify the necessary corrective measures both to resolve the present case as well as to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Rather she was more concerned about protecting her school?s reputation. Up till now even the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) has been kept in dark about the incident, thereby failing to forewarn parents that their children could be at risk of rape by the predator, Mr. Agyenim Boateng.
Madam Fordjour?s Frustration For over four months now, almost all the public institutions in Kumasi that should help bring justice to an 11-year-old rape victim have done nothing about the case. This includes the Mmofraturo headmistress, the police, journalists and the city?s Attorney General?s office, which is now handling the case but are moving at a snail?s pace in their bid to sweep the case under the rug. Prosecutors are dragging their feet to prosecute the case and journalists are refusing to report the case to the general public. All because the alleged perpetrator of the crime, Mr. Boateng, who supposedly belongs to a big family in Kumasi have used family influence to buy off the relevant authorities. Madam Fordjour has learned that Mr. Boateng and his family have been in constant touch with WAJU, the police unit responsible for handling rape cases. Not surpringly, WAJU has frustrated Madam Fordjour every turn of the way and has refused to go forward with the case. The victim?s mother till this day has not yielded to any pressures of monetary offers from the suspect?s family to arbitrate the case at home since it is a very serious criminal case. ?All that I am looking for is that the case goes to court and that Justice be served? said the victim?s mother, Madam Fordjour.
Our Corrupt Criminal Justice System
We are supposed to be a law and order nation but our progress is being severely hampered by endemically corrupt and unscrupulous public officials who would sell their conscience rather than seek justice for an 11-year-old rape victim. No wonder rape of minors by school teachers and other persons of authority are rampant in our country. A society that fails to protect its young children risks eventual decay and demise. This an appeal to all concerned to seek justice for this 11-year-old rape victim who has since turned 12.