The man accused of raping a young girl in Congo Town recently has finally given his side of the story. The crime captured the attention of FrontPage Africa readers almost two weeks ago when the mother of the girl, Emma Seekey, accused police of beating and imprisoning her when she reported the attack.
The accused rapist Abel Sangbeh, 20, told FrontPage Africa that the 12-year-old girl consented to having sex. “If I pushed her on the bed to force her… let me die,” he said today while waiting to make his first appearance before a judge since being arrested on Friday.
Sangbeh said the girl (whose name is being withheld because she is underage) voluntarily went to his room. He said he encountered her when he returned from bathing, and that she sat on his bed and began “talking about her boyfriends” before she locked the door.
But according to the girl’s police statement Sangbeh asked to go to his room to serve him food. When she brought the food he locked the door instead. The girl then claimed that he shoved her on the bed and tied his trousers around her mouth to keep her quiet before raping her.
Sangbeh was detained for almost 72 hours – the maximum amount of time a person can be detained without being charged – before he was finally charged yesterday with statutory rape, according to police reports.
Today both Seekey and the accused gave their statements to a judge at the Temple of Justice. The Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Office at the Women and Children’s Safety Division of the LNP said it is following up on the case, and will notify Seekey when the next court date is set.
Seekey also filed a complaint to LNP Headquarters for the police brutality she says she experienced when attempting to report the rape to officers at Zone #3 depot. Seekey said police became angry and insulted her when she reported the rape.
She said they beat and imprisoned her when she protested their behavior. As of press time police headquarters have not told FPA of any efforts to investigate Seekey’s claims of police abuse.
FPA has been following the case of Emma Seekey and her daughter since she contacted FrontPage Africa to report the events twelve days ago. The mother has been able to follow up with her case in court thanks to the generosity of concerned readers who have paid transport and phone costs for her to pursue the case.