Liberia: Tobias Bowen’s Arrest in Rape of Girl, 14, Ends Years of Anguish for Mother, Daughter Allegedly Raped in Holland at aged 13
Monrovia – When Rudene Dennis’s 13-year-old daughter came to her with the news that she had been raped by her stepfather, Tobias Bowen, she had no reason to doubt her daughter. Bowen, who allegedly, repeatedly raped the girl, who was 13-years-old then – over a period of time, would flee Holland for Syracuse, New York where those old demons would catch up with him again. On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, those demons came back, yet again when Bowen was arrested, processed and arraigned for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in the Bernard’s Farm Community.
“I am very satisfied,” Dennis said via phone Tuesday, from the US. “I have told his family that no matter how much money they’ve spent, the God that I serve will continue to fight my battle. Because when this thing started, his mother and all of his relatives said it was a lie. Today, they have been proven wrong.”
The latest alleged incident occurred on Sunday, July 26 when the victim’s mother had sent her to deliver some items to him in the neighborhood. He was however arrested on Tuesday, July 28.
Following the allegations in Holland, Bowen fled to the US.
Rudene says when she received the phone call from Monrovia about Bowen’s arrest this week, she was elated. God had answered her prayers.
“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.”
Rudene says, she says she has no regrets about standing by her daughter – after all these years. “I will not put any man ahead of my children. When my daughter reported that case, his wife and family said my daughter lied in Holland where the rape took place. It was not until it happened to her daughter in Syracuse that she blew the alarm, but by the time it got to the investigation, she left for London.”
“So, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is no longer the President in Liberia. Now, I’m looking forward to see what George Oppong Weah government will do. If they will sit there for that kind of criminal to go in Liberia and do what he did-and he is allowed to go free, I will swear him for every second. Any country Tobias escape to and commit that identical crime, he will be prosecuted for that crime.”Rudene C. Dennis
Rudene says during Operation Octopus in 1992, Bowen’s family took he daughter to Europe, Holland to be exact under the guise of giving her a better life. “Is this the help? He molested my daughter, in Holland. When the little girl reported it that’s when he ran away to London and was hiding in former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf son’s house because their son is married to Tobias aunt, the mother’s youngest sister that lived with the mom, Anita Bowen.”
Octopus was an operation launched by Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia but was repulsed by combined ECOMOG, Armed Forces of Liberia(AFL) and the United Movement of Liberia for Democracy(ULIMO). The operation killed scores of Liberians and forced many into exile.
It was in the town of Clay in upstate New York that Bowen was charged on March 19, 2010 with first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act, all felonies.
Shortly after his arrest, Bowen posted bail, set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond and fled.
A New York grand jury indicted Bowen on even more charges, but by then he had fled to Liberia, before he could answer the charges in County Court.
EJS Govt. Ignored Red Flag
After Bowen disappeared, sheriff’s detectives assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, launched an investigation into Bowen’s whereabouts.
In August 2011, FrontPageAfrica reported that Bowen who was appointed as administrator of the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, was a “fugitive from justice.” The article said Bowen was wanted for having sexual contact with two children, one in Holland, and the daughter of another partner, in Clay, New York.
When US authorities got wind of the report that Bowen was working in a hospital in Liberia as the Chief administrator of the Redemption Hospital, Interpol got involved and tried relentlessly to pursue Bowen and have him extradited to the US.
Despite the FPA report, Bowen stayed on the job at Redemption and the Sirleaf administration failed to look into the matter or cooperate with Interpol in extraditing Bowen.
“I will not put any man ahead of my children. When my daughter reported that case, his wife and family said my daughter lied in Holland where the rape took place. It was not until it happened to her daughter in Syracuse that she blew the alarm, but by the time it got to the investigation, she left for London.”Rudene C. Dennis
Federal agents would get their break in 2014 when they were tipped off that Bowen was traveling to Great Britain. Working with British authorities, Bowen was taken into custody when his plane landed in Britain.
Bowen’s arrest in 2014 in the UK was the result of a four-year effort and coordination between local, federal and British officials to bring him back to face charges in the 2010 incident involving the underage girl in Clay. By the time he was sentenced in January 2014 to three years in prison he’d already served his time in custody. Bowen was sent to state prison in February that year and paroled a month later to immigration, according to prison records.
Political Connections in Liberia Kept Bowen From Extradition
For Rudene, Bowen’s close relationship with the family of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf protected him from prosecution and extradition. “What happen? He danced around in Switzerland, all over, went back Monrovia and made big mouth and said nobody can touch him, no Interpol waiting for him. What happened when he went to London? He got arrested. “
The truth is, Rudene recalls, Tobias, his mother, Anita and others started paying money to protect him.
His lawyer came out and said he cannot be repatriated to America because if he is repatriated, America will suffer him and put him in jail for a long time – and he will be prosecuted for a long time.”
Rudene says the laws in Liberia failed her daughter and many other young girls because of political connections. Sirleaf’s son in London is married to Tobias’s aunty, Myrtle. It was one of his aunts who paid the bail that helped him escape from the US. Honestly, I was very disappointed in Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and I will forever fight that whole family for what they did to my daughter. They put us through hell.”
Now, Rudene says she hopes that Bowen will not escape justice under the George Weah administration. “So, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is no longer the President in Liberia. Now, I’m looking forward to see what George Oppong Weah government will do. If they will sit there for that kind of criminal to go in Liberia and do what he did-and he is allowed to go free, I will swear him for every second. Any country Tobias escape to and commit that identical crime, he will be prosecuted for that crime.”
Praying for Bowen’s Disgrace
Rudene says she is praying that Bowen would be disgraced every day for the rest of his life until he leaves this earth.
She also took aim at some Liberians she says doubted she and her daughter when the case first started. “I challenge Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, I challenge everybody. People told me not to talk because the family got money they can fight or do anything to you. But I got news for them, they cannot do a doggone thing to me because is serve a God that is a God.”
‘My God Has Vindicated My Daughter’
Rudene says she feels relieved that God has vindicated her daughter. “They thought he couldn’t leave from London, the extradited him to America. He went through a trial and he was locked up in prison. They hired lawyer again and they came up again and said because he spent some time in prison in London and he has spent some time in US, it has equaled the years he has been prosecuted for that crime, so they released him. My daughter got defeated again but I told her I’m not defeated. I’m going right back to the same judge, the lawyer and I fast and I prayed because I know the God that I’m worshipping he’s not a dead God, I’m not worshipping an idol. I went on my knees.”
The repeated rapes, she says, initially left her daughter devastated but Rudene says the girl, all grown up now, is trying to put her life back together and recover from the trauma. “My daughter got depressed but she got over it. She joined the US army and she’s an athlete in the army and has won awards. Tobias is the one who lost. I told my God that if my daughter lied, nothing must come from out of it but if my daughter, is telling the truth, Tobias Bowen will be arrested and it will go international and everybody will get to know about this arrest, since the first one, only a handful of people got to know about it and he was lying in Monrovia and his so-called wife went to Liberia and said it was a lie. I said this time when they arresting him, I want you to do it internationally, let every one get to know about it.”
She says her daughter had lost faith in God because of the rape but she encouraged her to hang on, everytime it seemed all hope was lost. “My daughter told me she doesn’t believe there is a God, I told her that it’s a lie. I told her, you hear me praying, if you lied on Tobias nothing will happen; but if you are telling the truth, you will conquer in the end. I told my daughter that I believe you and once you are telling me the truth, I want the world to know that you did not lie.”
Rudene recalls that on many occasions her daughter cried and asked: “How did God let it happen to me”. ‘I told her, if he can let his own son die for us, who are you. He made you to go through that so you can expose this man – and you will be there to help a lot of children and it will expose this thing in our society. It’s not because I haven’t been talking, I always drink my soup when it’s cold and Tobias knows me.’