An Anglican Church of Kenya clergyman was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of defiling his seven-year-old orphaned niece.
Embu Principal Magistrate Samuel Mutai ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the reverend, 38, who ministered at the Embu Diocese committed the offence.
The court heard that on or before April 19 last year, at Spring Valley estate, within Embu municipality, he unlawfully and with intention assaulted the girl.
During the hearing that spanned one and a half years, the court heard how the clergyman lured the girl to his house as she played with her colleagues pretending to be sending her to the shop.
It is then that the cleric forced the girl to remove her clothes threatening to beat her up if she raised alarm.
He then defiled her while his wife and children were away.
The victim’s grandmother noticed that she was limping and enquired on what had happened.
The girl who is a Class Three pupil narrated her ordeal and said it was the second time the incident had occurred.
Dr Phyllis Muhonja, a forensic officer at the Embu Level Five Hospital said the girl’s hymen had been broken.
Police Inspector Betty Kananu, who investigated the case testified how the girl had positively identified the priest as the person who defiled her.
In his defence, the Reverend gave a sworn evidence and called three witnesses including his wife as an alibi to show that he was away from his house when the offence was committed.
He claimed he was in attending a fellowship meeting where he delivered a sermon the time the crime was said to have done.
The wife corroborated his claim that he had a land dispute with his mother-in-law, Mercy Muthoni which was triggered by failure by his wife to release a title deed that was in her name.
His lawyer, Victor Andande requested for leniency saying that the man of cloth had school-going children who would suffer if he was incarcerated.
“I am convinced that the accused wilfully, intentionally and unlawfully committed the offence. I have considered the mitigation by the counsel. The offence committed by the accused is serious and needs deterrent sentence. I hereby sentence you to life imprisonment,” ruled Mr Mutai.