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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 11 August 2022

Source: GNA

Mechanical engineer remanded over alleged defilement of stepdaughter

File photo File photo

A 43-year-old mechanical engineer has been remanded into police custody by a Tema Circuit Court for allegedly having sex with his 13-year-old stepdaughter at Mataheko- Afienya in the Tema Metropolis.

Anthony Gawu, who is facing two counts of defilement and threat of death, has, however, denied the charges before the court presided over by Mrs Agnes Opoku Barnieh.

Counsel for Gawu, Mr Prince Hodo, prayed the court to admit his client to bail, saying his client was innocent and that when granted bail he would appear to stand trial.

But, the prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ernest Kwofie, opposed the request, arguing that Gawu would interfere with the testimonies of the witnesses, especially, the victim.

According to ASP Kwofie, who is the head of Prosecution of the Tema Regional Police Command, the victim had been allegedly threatened with death by Gawu.

The Prosecution also urged the court to consider the welfare principle under Section 2 of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) which enjoins the court to consider the best interest of children when they fall victims to crime.

He said the prosecution was ready to ensure that the matter was tried expeditiously.

The court obliged the prosecution’s prayer and adjourned the matter to August 23 for Case Management Conference (CMC). 

In his narrative, ASP Kwofie said the victim’s mother, a Reverend Minister, reported the case to the police. 

He said the couple lived together with the victim, and her siblings, with one being Gawu’s biological child.

The mother slept in the same room with her children, while Gawu slept in a separate room.

On May 24, 2022, Gawu allegedly went to wake up his stepdaughter at about 0200 hours, sent her to his room, locked the door and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her amid threats to her life should she disclose the act to anyone.

He reportedly covered the victim’s mouth with his palm to prevent her from screaming. 

“Around the same time, her mother woke up and realised that all the children were asleep without the victim,” he said.

 She eventually found her daughter in Gawu’s room when she (the daughter) unlocked the door, shivering with fear, whilst he pretended to be asleep.

When she confronted Gawu over the incident, he angrily drove them both out of his room.

 According to the Prosecutor, the victim refused to answer her mother’s queries because of the alleged threats made by Gawu to her life. 

ASP Kwofie said following the incident, the victim exhibited signs of fear whenever Gawu was in the house.

“This unusual behaviour made the complainant suspicious that the accused had done something bad to the victim.”

The prosecutor said on June 17, 2022, at about 1900 hours, whilst the complainant was away on evangelism and the victim was learning with her siblings in the hall, Gawu ordered the victim to his bedroom to learn there. 

He subsequently had sexual intercourse with her again and issued the following threat: “You will die if you disclose the affair to anyone”, according to the prosecutor.  

The prosecutor said out of fear the victim went to her auntie’s at Atadeka and narrated her ordeal to her and some workers.

 On June 21, 2022, when the mother could not find the whereabouts of her daughter, she reported a case of her “missing child” to the Police for investigations.

On August 6, 2022, the mother returned to the Police station with the victim and reported a case of defilement against Gawu based on the disclosure by the victim to her auntie.

The Prosecutor said the victim was issued with a Police medical report form to seek medical care and the same was brought after it had been endorsed by a medical officer.

The Medical report confirmed that the victim had been defiled, the prosecution said.

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