Liberia: 42-Yr-Old Pastor Allegedly Rapes Girl, 13

File Photo: An Anti-rape protestor in Monrovia

MONROVIA – When little Annie’s (not her real name) parents sent her to live with Pastor Lusinee Kromah and his wife, to afford her opportunity to go to school, she never thought her benefactor would have allegedly violated her.

“I was sleeping one night, the pastor came into my room and fingered me in my tata, (vagina). Then he told me if I tell anybody he will do something bad to me. The next day, when his woman went to the market, he called me to bring him water and he forced me to take off my clothes, and said I should lie down, and when I said no, he knocked me down on the bed, got over me and forced his toto (penis) inside my tata,” she little Annie narrated.

Pastor Kromah has been arrested. He is presently at the Buchanan Central Prison for allegedly raping his 13-year-old ward.

According to the medical report from Hope for Women, Annie was penetrated by a “blunt object.” The report further added that there were multiple, old but healed lacerations marks on her vagina. Visualizing a wall clock and picturing the female private part, the laceration marks on little Annie’s tata can be seen at 12, 9, 6 & 3’ o clock.

Annie is one of many girls, who have reportedly been raped by pastors or “men of God” across the country.

Rev. Jackson Zarbay, Senior Pastor of the House of Jesus Christ, located Upper Benson Street, Caldwell, was sentenced to prison in March of 2022 for allegedly raping a 12-year-old minor, who was taken to his church for spiritual deliverance.

While Pastor James Kollie, 50, was on June 17, 2020 arrested in Logan Town after his alleged rape victim’s uncle reported the case to the Women and Children Protection Section at the Liberia National Police on June 8, 2020. Apostle D. Franklin Snorton, who is a neighbor to a rape survivor, was arrested in Kakata on Friday, August 20, 2020, after his alleged rape survivor’s father reported the case to the Women and Children Protection Section at the Margibi County Detachment of the Liberia National Police.

On the other hand, Mr. Jefferson Knight of the United Methodist Church, Human Rights Monitor Office, has condemned the raping of 13-year-old Annie by the Pastor. Knight described the pastor’s alleged action as “shameful and disgraceful.”

“This so-called pastor must be disrobed and scraped of all benefits from the church,” Knight stressed.

“The increasing wave of the raping of women and girls in the country is disturbing and undermines the growth and development of this country. What is more frustrating is the involvement of pastors and imams in raping of our children. These clerics and other individuals who are considered as moral icons of the society have dashed the hopes, aspirations and trust of the people because of the immoral life styles of some of these religious leaders,” the United Methodist Church, Human Rights Monitor said. 

Narrating her ordeal further, the 13-year-old said the pastor allegedly committed his first sexual act on her while they were in Buchanan. She cannot remember the exact year the incident occurred.

She said the Pastor continued to rape her in Buchanan until they moved to Monrovia to live; and he was still having constant sex with her whenever his wife was not around.

“One day his woman got sick and we went to buy medicine at the drugstore, but the drugstore was closed, so while we were coming back, he carried me in one booth near the road, and lay me down on the ground and put his toto inside my tata again. When we got home, his woman asked why behind my clothes was dirty. When I explained what happened, she started telling me to forget it; he will not do it again,” she said.

Annie’s story came to the limelight following the death of her father in Buchanan. She and the pastor’s wife went for the funeral. After the funeral rites, including burial, Annie refused to return with the pastor’s wife to Monrovia. When her people asked her why she didn’t want to come back, it was there and then that she burst the balloon on how the pastor was always raping her and his wife knew about it and did nothing.

This newspaper tried to contact the pastor’s wife via mobile phone, but all efforts proved futile as her phone rang endlessly without her picking the call.

According to Annie’s elder brother, who accused the pastor and wife of trying to compromise the case, his little sister went to live with the Kromahs sometime in 2019 when she was 11.

He also disclosed to this newspaper, “The pastor and his wife met with my aunt and me in Monrovia. Pastor Kromah admitted that he had slept with my little sister but it happened only in Buchanan and not in Monrovia. He said he regrets his actions and wants us to forgive him, because he has spoken the truth and God has forgiven him.”

He further stated that the Kromahs promised to pay his sister’s school fees even if she did not want to live them again.

“He gave us L$4,000 to pay our way when my aunt and I were about to leave,” the survivor’s brother said. He further told this newspaper that his aunt refused to take a penny from the money that he gave for their transportation.

The brother said he got help from the UMC Human Rights Monitor Office. They pursued the case and were successful in getting Pastor Kromah arrested.

“This man, who claims to be a pastor, is hiding behind the pulpit to rape a child living with him. This is wrong. I told my family what the pastor did is wrong, so even if his wife was crying for us to forgive her husband, it won’t change what her husband did,” he emphasized.