Fugitive Police Officer Arrested, Charged in Rape of 13-year Old

Monrovia-A 38-year-old police officer has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl, authorities said.  The alleged perpetrator had evaded police since the incident was reported on May 14.

He was arrested last night at an undisclosed location in Paynesville on an insider tip. The officer was disrobed immediately, said Vera V.K. Manly, director of the Liberia National Police’s women and children protection section.

“Nobody is above the law. Any officer from any department engaged in unethical, unprofessional and criminal behavior will be investigated, charged and sent to court like an average perpetrator,” Manly said. The police began a weeklong manhunt after this newspaper reported the alleged rape Aug. 12.

Rape is rarely prosecuted in Liberia. From May 2009 to March 2011, 14 cases were prosecuted by a special court to try rape cases, known as Criminal Court E. The court was established in 2008. There are 159 cases waiting to be prosecuted, Manly said. “We have only one court…they don’t hear many cases during a term,” she said.

The Ministry of Justice, a body responsible for judging cases of rape and all related cases in the country, has come under criticism from Liberians and the international community for not prosecuting rape and other related cases.
In late July FrontPage Africa reported on a case involving a 12-year-old girl allegedly raped by her 20-year-old neighbor. The man was apprehended five days later. He said the girl had consented to sex.