SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Imam who sodomised stepson to serve 25 years in prison

Had appealed against life sentence.

In Summary
  • Justice says he left the boy with a permanent scar—he always scampers for safety when he sees adult men and only plays with girls, not boys.
  • The judge said the imam betrayed the trust and love the child had for him.

His lawyer had asked for a reduced sentence of just two or three years instead of life.

But a judge felt that wasn't harsh enough and sentenced the imam to 25 years in prison for sodomising his nine-year-old stepson. 

The cleric had been appealed a life sentence handed by a magistrate's court.

Malindi High Court judge Justice Reuben Nyakundi said on Wednesday that the imam had left his stepson with a permanent scar.

The child's mother told the court last week that the boy always scampers for safety when he sees adult men; he only plays with girls, not boys as the sexual assaults are still fresh in his mind.

The imam had betrayed the trust and love the child had for him, Justice Nyakundi said.

He said the life sentence was reduced to 25 years because Omar had strong mitigation. However, the imam was still guilty of the charges, he said.

"He is young (36-years-old), remorseful, knowledgeable in Islamic skills and law, trains in Madrassa, and can take a position of responsibility," Nyakundi said.

The judge said the sentence was enough to punish the crime and send a strong message that society considers sodomy an abomination.

“In my considered view, and taking all factors to account, I hereby sentence the convict to an imprisonment of 25 years, to be served from November 15, 2018,” the judge ordered.

The child was rescued by Muslim For Human Rights (Muhuri), who later represented him in court.

His mother was happy with the ruling. Last week she had told Justice Nyakundi the cleric deserved to rot in jail for life.

Nyakundi said the victim looked up to the cleric for trust, provision, safekeeping and was the last person he expected would destroy his dignity and security.

In November 2018 Malindi senior principal magistrate Sylvia Wewa sentenced Omar to life in prison after finding him guilty. Omar appealed for acquittal.

Muhuri termed the judgment a positive mark in the war on sexual gender-based violence.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya