LIBERIA: Teacher, 32, Gets 10 Years For Sodomizing Male Student

 (LINA) – Criminal Court ‘E’ based in the 8th  Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquillie, Nimba County has handed down a-10-year jail sentence against Joel Cheap, a-32 year-old classroom teacher, for sodomizing a male student, 16.

The incident, according to the court, took place in Ganta in May, 2021.

The indictment, which was read in open court, noted that Teacher Chea committed the act last year when the victim was on his way to the market.

The victim was reportedly sent by his parents to purchase food items from the nearby market when the incident occurred.

Teacher Chea, who was in his office during the afternoon hours of that day, called the victim to his office under the pretense of sending him (the 16 year-old student) on an errand, but then he locked the door and forcefully sodomized the lad.

Following commission of the act, 32-year old Chea threatened to harm the victim if he (the victim) tells anyone about what had happened.

During court trial, defendant Joel Chea admitted committing the act and pleaded with the court for forgiveness, but a sentence of 10 years imprisonment was handed down against him (defendant) by the Judge of the Criminal Court ‘E’ (Rape and Sexual Offenses Court), Hector Quoiguah.

Emphasizing the Court’s decision, the Judge quoted Chapter 16, section 16.4 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia as its legal reliance.

Chapter 16, Section 16.4 states: “A defendant may plead guilty or not guilty, except that in a capital case only a plea of not guilty may be accepted. The court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty in any other case and shall not accept such plea without first (a) making such inquiry as may satisfy it that the defendant, in fact, committed the crime charged and (b) addressing the defendant personally and determining that the plea is made voluntarily with understanding of the nature of the charge.

“If a defendant refuses to plead or if the court refuses to accept a plea of guilty or if a defendant corporation fails to appear, the court shall enter a plea of not guilty,” it continues.

In the Court’s ruling, the convict will serve five years suspended sentence based on “good behavior” and two years on probation, while three years sentence will be served from the date of his imprisonment.

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