Bomet victims want stiff penalty for US missionary over sex crimes - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 19 June 2020

Bomet victims want stiff penalty for US missionary over sex crimes

The Dows
Victims of sexual exploitation by confessed American missionary Gregory Dow in Bomet are demanding stiff penalties and sentencing.
Several girls have revealed that Dow, 61, defiled them at a Bomet orphanage and his wife Mary Rose had birth control implants inserted in them to stop them from becoming pregnant as a result of the sexual escapades.
Dow pleaded guilty in the US on Tuesday to sexually preying on young orphaned girls at Dow’s Children’s Home which he operated at Kapsiratet village, Boito Ward, Konoin Constituency in Bomet County.
“We were given anti-fertility implants at a clinic in Litein trading centre in Kericho County in what Dow said would ensure we are safe from pregnancy," said a victim who spoke to the Nation at Boito.
She said: “Looking back and reflecting at what happened to us (girls) at the orphanage, I can say it was pretty bad. We were helpless… weird things happened to us at a tender age.”
“He took advantage of our naivety with most of us losing our virginity in his hands,” she said.
Dow summoned the girls at different times both during the day and night to a room where he had placed an extra bed where he defiled them repeatedly.
Another victim said: “We have learnt that he has confessed to his misdeeds and may get up to a 16-year jail term. That is a slap on the wrist.”
She said nine of the girls at the orphanage had anti-fertility devices and the American had sexual intercourse with them in turns with full knowledge of his wife.
The couple had one biological daughter and two other adopted girls (African American). It was not clear if the two were also subjected to sexual molestation.
“Every two years, those of us who had the implants were taken to the clinic for a check up,” said another victim.
She said most of them removed the devices at Boito and Mogogosiek health centres after the orphanage was closed.
Dow who is from Lancaster County in Philadelphia, was arrested in July last year and charged according to US department of Justice, the Attorney’s office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
He pleaded guilty to four charges during plea taking before US District Judge Edward Smith and federal prosecutors and federal defenders.
“He (Dow) engages in grooming behaviour by providing things of value to these victims including mobile phones...” stated Assistant US Attorney Timothy M. Stengel during the plea taking.
Dow is set to be sentenced on September 29, and is widely expected to earn 16 years in jail.
His arrest followed investigations by both Kenyan and American detectives.
The orphanage set up in 2008 was closed in September 2017 after Dow was caught by some defiling one of the girls.
Shocked by the unfolding scenario, one of the boys who through a peephole witnessed the incident, called in other boys and word spread like a bush fire on a sunny day through the institution and wafted into the neighbourhood.
"Dow took off to Kericho town on the material day, where the family had rented a house and later fled the country as he was being sought by police," said Mr Davis Bett, a former employee at the orphanage who had been fired by the time the incident occurred.
Mr Bett said the suspect deserves to be punished for his misdeeds as he had preyed on innocent young girls under his care.
"He caused permanent damage to the children who require psycho-social support. Their lives are in ruins and nothing will compensate them enough," said Mr Bett.
Mr Bett said "It would make sense was he to be handed 50 years and brought to Kenya to face the children and families he tormented. The girls should adequately compensated by the US government"
He said that he was fired in 2013 when he noticed that things were going wrong at the facility with the management deviating from the norms of running a children's home, and started speaking about them.
Mr Geoffrey Ngetich a man who had allegedly leased premises for Dow family children's home which was run by Dow and his wife, Mary, said the residents of the region became suspicious of the activities of the American when children started coming out stating they had gone hungry for days.
"It became clear that the children were not being sexually molested, but also subjected to physical and psychological torture as form of punishment whenever they were viewed to have broken ground rules," said Mr Ngetich.
Mr Collins Towett, a resident said "We are appealing to the Kenya government to appeal against the expected sentence and have it enhanced and ensure also that the victims are compensated by the American government,"
Mr Towett said " The government should ensure that the victims are given the support they require to move on with their lives,"
Residents of the region are keenly watching and waiting to see the kind of sentence that would be handed down to the suspect.

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