Liberia: 15-Yr-Old Raped, But Police Delays Arrest


JACOB TOWN, Paynesville – An alleged rapist, only identified as Apoko, is at large. The police in Jacob Town Community refused to arrest him when he was still in sight. Their reason? They are awaiting an official medical report from the hospital before effecting arrest.

Report by Mae Azango [email protected]

Sitting on her hospital bed, her legs were shivering, 15-year-old Rita (not real name) explained her ordeal to FrontPageAfrica. She spoke softly: “When I went to him to change the money, he hauled me inside his room and locked the door. He took off my dress pushed me down on his bed and put his hand over my mouth and had something to do with me. He told me if I tell anybody he was going to hurt me,” she explained.

Rita was sent to receive money through mobile money for her aunty when she met Apoko who asked her to kindly change his L$500 banknote into smaller denominations, which she did. This incident occurred on April 3.

She met her unfortunate moment when she was sent back to him at his house to change the counterfeit banknote.

But that wasn’t the first time he had raped her. Apoko had been having sexual intercourse with Rita since 2018, she told FrontPageAfrica.

“He has been doing it to me plenty time but I was scared to tell anybody because he said he was going to hurt me,” she added.

Rita’s mother chipped in, “We caught her sneaking out of a house and when we took her home to ask her, she said it was Apoko who had something to do with her and when I checked her underclothes, it was very wet. And when I forced her to tell me, she said he had been doing it to her since last year and he even had her in her anus. She said she was scared to tell us that this fellow was doing all these things to her but kept it until we caught her tonight.”

With vivid expression of frustration on his face, Rita’s father said he could not understand why the police will not arrest Apoko when he has been identified as the suspect.

Apoko happens to be the son of the community chairman.

“My daughter was taken to the Benson Hospital which tested the girl to find out if she was penetrated, yet the police are saying they cannot arrest the guy and now the house of the guy and his father is locked up and nobody has been seen in the yard since this morning. If the perpetrator runs away, I will blame the police station for delaying,” he said.

When contacted via mobile phone over the delay in affecting the arrest, Jacob Town Police Women and Children Section said, it is acting in accordance with the law by awaiting medical report before carrying out any arrest.

“I cannot rush the hospital to speed up with the medical report because it takes time. When the hospital is done with the medical report, it will send it to us and we will investigate. So, making the arrest is the last resort after investigation,” said Theresa Neufvile of Jacob Town Women and Children Section. 

The police, however, said having received the medical report on Friday, April 5, 2019 they will carry out the arrest on Monday, April 8. The parents of the victim are worried about the disappearance of the alleged perpetrator while they await medical report.