Liberia: The Indictment of Tobias Bowen – How a Former Hospital Chief Lured a 14-Year-old Girl to Rape

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THE BOWEN INDICTMENT: In graphic and detailed accounts gathered from the case Indictment of Tobias Bowen, a star basketball player from the B.W. Harris Episcopal School in the 1980s, who later became administrator of the Redemption Hospital, now in possession of FrontPageAfrica, the survivor, her family and close friend, detail how Mr. Bowen seduced and threatened the 14-year-old with death, if she told anyone what he had done.

Monrovia – The 14-year-old Survivor was innocent and confused when a man in his 50s told her he was very fond of her. That was in December 2018, the beginning of a sickening obsession that would shatter her adolescence and leave her indelibly and emotionally-scarred, probably for the rest of her life.

“My daughter(name withheld), told me that my granddaughter(The Survivor) was raped by Mr. Bowen. “He also threatened her(The Survivor) that if she tells anyone, he will kill her. According to the child, he is always calling her and visiting her on the school campus. So, I decided to use the law.”

Mr. Fayiah Bayoh, Grandfather of the Survivor

In graphic and detailed accounts gathered from the case Indictment of Tobias Bowen, a star basketball player from the B.W. Harris Episcopal School in the 1980s, who later became administrator of the Redemption Hospital, now in possession of FrontPageAfrica, the survivor, her family and close friend, detail how Mr. Bowen seduced and threatened the 14-year-old with death, if she told anyone what he had done.

Defendant Bowen, 51, was arrested on July 28, acquainted with his Miranda’s rights and investigated based upon a complaint from the Survivor’s grandfather, who alleged that the survivor,  now 15, was raped by Mr. Bowen in the Bernard’s Farm Community. 

The defendant is currently remanded at the notorious Monrovia Central Prison awaiting trial.

Survivor’s Granddad: “I Decided to Use the Law’

The Grandfather, Fayiah Bayoh told investigators on July 28 that his daughter(name withheld), told him that his granddaughter was raped by Mr. Bowen. “He also threatened her(The Survivor) that if she tells anyone, he will kill her. According to the child, he is always calling her and visiting her on the school campus. So, I decided to use the law.”

In her own words, the survivor told authorities in a statement on July 29 how she was first lured by the defendant.

Said the survivor: “It was in December 2018 when I went to spend time to my grandmother’s place in Bernard’s Farm. My mother plaited my hair and I was going on the road to buy medicine because my head was hurting. While going, I met a man named Tobias Bowen in his car on the road. He called me and told me that he liked me. I laughed because it was funny to me. I went home and told my sister Rita about it. After that, we moved to Omega and it took a long time that I had not come to Bernard’s Farm.”

The survivor’s sister, Rita, in a statement to police on August 1, 2020, recalls the incident of the Survivor’s first encounter with Mr. Bowen.

Survivor Reveals Rape, Death Threat

“On September 18, 2019, at about 12:00 pm, my grandmother asked me to carry some palava sauce to Tobias, which he had paid for. And when I carried it to him in his fence, at which time his nurse and wife were not there. He asked me to bath his daughter in his inside bathroom; and after I bathed the girl and put clothes on her, he told the girl to go outside and he forced me and had sex with me. He forced me on the bed and put pillow at my mouth – and had sex with me. He got finished and I saw blood on me. After he did it, he gave me $S40 USD and told me not to tell anybody. He said that if I tell anybody, he will kill me with his gun that he has.”

– Fourteen-Year-Old Survivor, recalling the alleged rape by Tobias Bowen, Former Administrator of Redemption Hospital

“I remember one time, on a Sunday, I can’t remember the main date, my cousin(The Survivor) plaited her hair with attachment and said that it was hurting. She went on the road to buy pain tablets. When she came back home, she told me that Tobias saw her on the road and said that he wanted her. She said that she only laughed. Then I said why will Tobias say that.”

Nearly a year later, the Survivor explained, she crossed path with the defendant again. This time, she had returned to Bernard’s Farm to visit her grandmother.

The Survivor explained: “This was in September 2019, when I went to spend time with my grandmother in Bernard’s Farm, I was bathing one time outside and Tobias saw me and asked me, ‘what I was doing’. “I told him that I was taking bath  and he told me not to bath outside again. Then, he told me that he has something for me, so, I should go for it in his fence.”

The Survivor says she did not fall for the bait at that time.  “But I did not go there that time. On September 18, 2019, at about 12:00 pm, my grandmother asked me to carry some Palava Sauce to Tobias, which he had paid for. And when I carried it to him in his fence, at which time his nurse and wife were not there, he asked me to bath his daughter  in his inside bathroom.”

After bathing his daughter, the Survivor says Tobias instructed his daughter to leave the room. “I bathed the girl and put clothes on her, he told the girl to go outside and he forced me and had sex with me. He forced me on the bed and put pillow at my mouth and had sex with me. He got finished and I saw blood on me. After he did it, he gave me $ 40 USD and told me not to tell anybody. He said that if I tell anybody, he will kill me with his gun that he has.”

The Survivor explained that in July, Mr. Bowen came creeping again. “Then, this year, 2020, during the time we were on our third period test, he went on my campus and asked me to go with him at his house; but I told him, no because my friends were going to visit me. At the time, he took me to his room, he had inside bathroom, chair, bed and dresser. He had tiles on the floor and the bathroom was painted white with glass shower in the bathroom.”

The Survivor’s classmate(name withheld) at the Sister Cathleen Memorial School, confirmed to authorities that she was with her when Mr. Bowen took her friend away during one of the alleged encounters. 

Survivor’s Friend: Bowen Gave LD900

“Yesterday, July 19, 2020, my ma asked me whether I know man business. I lied to her first, and later explained everything to her. So, she carried the complain to police and the police send me here for checkup. I don’t know his age.”

The Survivor

The friend explained: “It was in some part of last year by the time, we were on campus(Sister Cathleen Memorial Catholic High School) when a fellow drove there in a blue pathfinder jeep, and ask my friend to enter in the car; then I entered too, and we drove at the Survivor’s house junction at the Taxi Turning Point within Duport Road.”

The friend said, once at the junction, Mr. Bowen give her LD900 dollars(US$4.52 cents at today’s rate) and told her told her to leave. “That’s when he asked me to get down, but I was hesitant to get out not wanting to leave my friend alone in his car. He convinced me and said, he was taking my friend somewhere for something quick and will be right back. So, I should wait for them, that how he gave me nine hundred Liberian dollars and said, in case I do not see my friend I should use it to go home. So, I held the money and waited for them at the very junction. After an hour of waiting, my friend came and I escorted her home, and I too went home thereafter. That was my first time and last time seeing him with my friend; he is fair in complexion, prompt in built and appear very older.”

The Survivor’s grandmother, Yamah, recalls the day the first act of rape took place but she had no idea and saw Tobias as a regular next-door neighbor who always patronize her by buying products from her farm.

Yamah explained: “Tobias is my neighbor and I can make garden behind the fence every dry season. He normally calls me sister and I can call him brother. When I make the garden, he can sometimes ask me for some green and when I cut it I can give it to my children to carry in his fence to him and he can give me the money. I can normally send all of my children including the survivor, because we are just like family. The survivor is my granddaughter and she sometimes go to spend time with me in Bernard’s Farm. I remember her going to spend vacation with me last year when school was closed. And I once sent her with Palava Sauce to Tobias house when he told me that he wanted some.”

For the Survivor, Mr. Bowen’s obsession was so extreme that she blocked his number, just to avoid his advancements. “He had been calling me on my number. But the last time he called me was the time he went on my campus during the Third Period of the School year 2019-2020(around March 2020).” 

Asked by investigators how often Mr. Bowen called her, the Survivor said: “He never used to call me fast-fast because I used to put his number on block list, and when I used to go to my Grand Ma place, he used to see me and be asking me.”

Medical Report Shows Penetration

A copy of the Survivor’s Rape Report, also in possession of FrontPageAfrica, showed that she was penetrated by the defendant. The report also showed injuries of the introitus/hymen which had been lacerated and healed. The medic report also noted bleeding from the vagina during menstruation, in line with the Survivor’s statement that she bled after the encounter with Mr. Bowen although there was no evidence of redness.

A copy of the Survivor’s Rape Report, also in possession of FrontPageAfrica, showed that she was penetrated by the defendant. 

The Survivor, when asked by medical staff following the last incident, said: “My stomach was hurting and I was feeling weak.”

For the survivor, now 15, the fear of being killed by Mr. Bowen played a major role in her not coming forward. When asked by medics testing her after the arrest of Mr. Bowen, the Survivor recalled: “Yesterday, July 19, 2020, my ma asked me whether I know man business. I lied to her first, and later explained everything to her. So, she carried the complain to police and the police send me here for checkup. I don’t know his age.”

The report also showed injuries of the introitus/hymen which had been lacerated and healed. The medic report also noted bleeding from the vagina during menstruation, in line with the Survivor’s statement that she bled after the encounter with Mr. Bowen although there was no evidence of redness.

A review of the police charge sheet suggest that Mr. Bowen preyed on the vulnerabilities of the Survivor’s grandmother by patronizing her farm business, leading to the rape of the Survivor. 

It was based on the testimony of the witnesses and survivor that the police resolved to charge Mr. Bowen with the crime of rape in violation of Section 14.70(i) of the revised rape law of Liberia, pending court trial.

The amended and enacted legislation to amend the new Penal Code of June 1976 Chapter 14, Section 14.70 and 14.71 (the Rape Law), states: “A person who has sexual intercourse with another person (male or female) without his/her consent has committed rape that is punishable by ten (10) years or lifetime imprisonment depending on the degree of the rape (rape of a minor, rape resulting in serious bodily harm, rape using a weapon, gang rape). The new rape law came into force in January 2006. The Act also requires in-camera hearings for all rape cases.”

The survivor’s ordeal has drawn Mr. Bowen full circle. 

Mr. Bowen previously fled the United States in 2015 while on $10,000 bail, charged with two counts of rape of his underage daughter. He returned to his job in Liberia, where he was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as administrator of the Redemption Hospital. He was later arrested in the United Kingdom and made to serve his sentence in the United States after which he was deported to Liberia.

His international drama began after he was charged with rape, sexual abuse and related charges in connection with an underage girl incapable of consent.

“I have had no special relationship with The Survivor. She and the other children can only see me and I can sometimes give them some little Liberian dollars. The last time I saw The Survivor  was in some part of last year(2019), when she called me and I met she and one of her friends around Total Rehab. She asked me for a ride and I dropped she and her friend around the Zubah Town Football Field. She wanted me to give her friend lift to town but I said no.”

Mr. Tobias Bowen, Defendant

Before his arraignment, Bowen fled to Liberia, where he worked openly as an administrator at the Redemption Hospital.

Local authorities enlisted the help of federal agents in the United States, an extradition request was subsequently sent to Liberia was never carried out.

Defendant Bowen Speaks: Survivor ‘is Nobody to Me’

US federal agents waited for years, until they got a tip that Bowen was traveling to Great Britain in 2014. Working with British authorities, Bowen was taken into custody when his plane landed in Britain.

In his statement to police, Mr. Bowen told investigators that the Survivor’s grandmother was his neighbor in Bernard’s Farm. “Her house is right by my fence in Bernard’s Farm.”

He explained that the Survivor used to be at her grandmother’s place frequently; but was told that she had moved with her mother to another community for a long time now. “I have had no special relationship with The Survivor. She and the other children can only see me and I can sometimes give them some little Liberian dollars. The last time I saw The Survivor  was in some part of last year(2019), when she called me and I met she and one of her friends around Total Rehab. She asked me for a ride and I dropped she and her friend around the Zubah Town Football Field. She wanted me to give her friend lift to town but I said no.”

Pressed by investigators about the relationship between he and the survivor, Mr. Bowen said: “She is nobody to me.” He however described her grandmother as a good neighbor. “Sometimes when she gets things, she give me and when I get things I also give: Like oil, meat and others.”

Asked what it is that the grandmother does on his property, Mr. Bowen replied: “She grows greens on my property and I can buy from her. Sometimes I sent the people from my yard to go and buy it and sometimes she can send her child with the greens to my house.”

Asked by investigators whether the grandmother ever sent the Survivor to him with Palava Sauce, Mr. Bowen replied: “I have never received any greens from her myself. They always carry it and my people can receive it.”

Regarding the crucial meeting in 2019 with the Survivor and her friend, Mr. Bowen told investigators that the pair wore their school uniform. “I only dropped them in Zubah Town. The Survivor was wearing blue-like uniform while her friend was in green and white(catholic uniform). 

Asked how much money he gave the Survivor and her friend, Mr. Bowen told investigators: “I remember giving the Survivor some money but I’m not sure of the amount – and I remember I paid her friend’s way to town. That was in Liberian dollars(in one hundred bills).

Regarding the crucial question of whether the Survivor ever entered his room, Mr. Bowen replied: “She has entered my house and has played with my children. I don’t know if she has entered my room.” 

Old Habits Die Hard

The latest arrest caps a long trail of allegations that has haunted Mr. Bowen for years, beginning in Holland, where a former partner, Rudene C. Dennis has been battling great odds to bring Bowen to justice, since he raped her underage daughter when when she was thirteen-years-old.

He fled to the US before falling back into his old habit.

For Rudene, Mr. Bowen may have run out of luck for his three-time charm. “Three times now God has shown to them(Tobias’s family),” she laments. “They said he was not going to be arrested, he got arrested in London, that’s one; They said he would not be extradited, he got extradited to America, from London, that’s two. He faced prosecution; he entered prison and is now a registered sex offender in America because Interpol got him registered as a sex offender. They thought that when they release him before his term was over by adding the time served in London, to the one in America, they thought it was going to finish there. I feel sorry for the family of the 14-year-old little girl raped by him in Monrovia, but I will forever keep swearing him because every country he travels to he will do that same crime there because they will have to keep arresting him repeatedly for molestation until he dies.”

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