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General News of Tuesday, 7 January 2003

Source: Ghanaian Times

Raped, paralysed girl is dead

Sarah Darko, the class three school girl who became paralysed three years ago after being defiled by Joseph Osei Agyemang, then 45, is dead. She died early Sunday morning after battling with life for the three years during which she became bedridden and could not do anything on her own.

The parents of the victim, Rosina Oppong and Badu Darko, broke the news to the Times in Accra yesterday and said the body of the girl had been deposited at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital mortuary.

They said the ordeal the girl suffered after the rape was too much for her, especially since she could neither talk, eat properly nor sit straight. She had to be supported in anything she did, like a baby.

“We have suffered a lot these three years. We were ejected from our room because we were unable to pay our rent. Her mother virtually abandoned her trading job to be always around to nurse Sarah,” they said.

The couple also found it difficult to buy the expensive drugs prescribed by doctors to keep their daughter alive, let alone get money to buy food.

Osei Agyemang, then 45, lived in the same house with the victim at Korle-Wokon in Accra. The victim was in class three and was a classmate of Osei Agyemang’s daughter.

He was arrested in December 1999 by the James Town Police in Accra after committing the offence but was later granted police enquiry bail to appear before court. He jumped bail and sought refuge in neighbouring Togo to escape the law.

His surety, Nana Dankyi, a sub-chief at Kwahu and a co-tenant, was arrested and his relatives managed to lure the accused to Ho in the Volta Region where he was arrested at a chop and was brought down to Accra.

Osei-Agyemang was subsequently put on trial, charged with defilement. But the tribunal, chaired by Mrs Frances Owusu-Arhin, now a High Court Judge, directed that Osei-Agyemang be sent to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital for observation and evaluation due to his unruly behaviour in court.

He escaped from the Psychiatric Hospital under unexplained circumstances and has since not been seen. He is believed to be hiding at Enchi, in the Western Region. Meanwhile the family is yet to fix a date for t he victim’s internment.