Man, 31 Gets 40 Years Prison Sentence for Raping and Murdering 13 years Old Girl

Kakata, Margibi County – The 13th Judicial circuit Court in Kakata, Margibi County has sentenced Abraham Wento, age 31 to 40 years in prison for raping and subsequently murdering 13 year old Grace Tamba in Boys Town, Margibi.

According to information gathered from the Court, the incident occurred on December 12, 2021 when the deceased had gone to purchase peanut butter for her elderly sister.

According to court records, Wento asked the late Grace Tamba to get a cell phone from his room and during this period, he forcibly had sexual intercourse with the victim before murdering her. The perpetrator, according to report was a neighbor of the victim in the Boys Town area.

It was established that the defendant during cross examinations, willingly admitted to the commission of the crime. After several months of hearings into the matter, the 13th Judicial Circuit Court last Friday brought down a guilty verdict against the defendant.

While the guilty verdict and the long time prison sentence rendered by the court may serve as a victory in the quest for justice against perpetrators, the incident against little Grace Tamba is a brazen reminder that despite a presidential proclamation declaring rape a national emergency, rape is still prevalent in the Liberian society.

Back in its 2016 report, the United Nations noted that out of the 803 cases it had recorded the previous year, only a paltry 2 percent resulted in conviction.
In August 2020, as COVID-19 raged on, harrowing tales of sexual violence against girls as young as three years old made international headlines, something which sparked wave of protests led by women and children activists in Monrovia.

In response, President George Weah, in September 2020, declared rape a national emergency. And following the pronouncement, the government introduced a raft of stern anti-abuse measures, which included founding a National Security Task Force on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, appointing a Special Prosecutor for rape and establishing a National Sex Offenders registry. The declarations were a good starting point and sounded well on paper.

However, in reality, women and girls still live in fear as lack of political will continues to hampers the implementation of these measures that would have provided some sense of security to those vulnerable. In addition, a heavily underfunded and weak judicial system and the culture of impunity continue to fan the rape epidemic.

By Emmanuel Toe

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