Liberia: One Survivor Tested Positive at More Than Me, Says Special Investigative Board

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Monrovia – At least one of the survivors of rape and sexual abuse at the More than Me (MTM) school in Monrovia has been tested positive with HIV, according to the Special Investigative panel’s report.


Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]


On Saturday, June 1 the panel released its findings following a protracted investigation of serial rape of students of the American charity.

The head of the panel Cllr. Negbalee Warner said the charity violated the children Law of 2011, especially the provision dealing with the principles of the best interest of the child.

The academy also violated the standards for child protection practitioners and the failure to report a case of child abuse or neglect, the report says.

Cllr. Warner said the organization’s record shows that they did not take primary consideration of the best interest of the survivors as required by section 1.2 of Article VIII of the children Law.

The panel said there is probably more that they did not uncover in respect to each of the two incidents because they did not have power to subpoena

documents or compel attendance or testimonies of people believed to have

relevant information.

“Subsequent to discovering abuse of the girls by Macintosh, MTM adopted

many of the policies it should have had in place prior to the incidents,” the report added.

However, Cllr. Warner, who is the Deam of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, said there are substantial doubts as to whether there is adequate commitment on the part of the director to abide by the policy and also demonstrate the openness requires for the sustainable corporate governance required to keep the organization capable of inspiring confidence.

He added that the facts of the incidents, horrible as they are not as troubling as the persistent failure of the MTM to have accepted

responsibility for the incidents, learn from them, and, work with

partners, forged ahead with accountability, improved procedures and

transparency.

The reports says Katie Meyler’s, the founder of the charity, romantic relationship with Macintosh Johnson was a key factor that negatively influenced her handling of or response to the Macintosh case, including her reluctance to have gone to testify in the trial.

“Despite repeated knowledge of the defense’s key arguments that the

prosecution was nothing more than the machination of Katie against

Macintosh because the latter did not want to marry her and in fact

terminated their romantic relationship.

“That the conduct of Katie in respect of either or both of the two incidents

was more the result of inexperience, but the conduct of the MTM board now and then was/is an astonishing failure of oversight and/or refusal to

accept responsibility and be accountable,” the report said.

Cllr. Warner said MTM and its board has neither accepted nor appear willing to accept full or partial responsibility for the causes of the incidents, and are very sensitive to public disclosure/discussions of the incidents.

“And the acts of the Board to (i) assert attorney-client privileges in respect of some queries of the Panel and (ii) its sudden preference to communicate with the Panel through legal counsel stand in proof of this conclusion.

“And inactions, including misrepresentation of facts and failure to report alleged or known abuse of a child in vulnerable situations,” he noted.

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