Onlookers at Criminal Court ‘E’ were seen whispering to each other in shock when suspect Sundaygar Vah admitted to Judge Serena Garlawulo that he raped a 10 year-old girl in Johnsonville, outside Monrovia.
Such admission in open court is rare, but Sundaygar believed that speaking the “truth” that he raped the girl, a student, will shorten his trial and possibly draw up the mercy of the court to lessen his punishment.
“I will never rape again. Everybody has left me alone. If it even causes me to sell my private part to assure that I will never rape again – I will do that.
“I want the judge to please forgive me. I want to go back to the interior (rural area) because there if [you] rape, there’s no plenty talking the way it is with the court process. There, the ‘country devil’ will kill you instantly,” Vah briefly told journalists last Thursday.
In 2017, the Supreme Court of Liberia increased the jail term for rapists from 10 to 25 years after appeal.
Vah confessed shortly after an indictment was read against him to establish his plea, consistent with the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia.
“Before any person is tried for commission of an offense, he shall be called into open court and the Clerk shall read the formal charge to him and call upon him to plead therefore,” the law says.
Vah is accused of abusing the lad at his Johnsonville residence in 2016, and was arrested, charged and sent to the Monrovia Central Prison to await trial.
Rape, though a second degree felony, is not bailable under the law to ensure deterrence for would-be perpetrators.
The trial continues at the Temple of Justice, but the presiding Judge adjoined Thursday’s preceding without setting a new notice of assignment.