Victims of jailed American paedophile Gregory Dow demand compensation - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 6 February 2021

Victims of jailed American paedophile Gregory Dow demand compensation


Is a 188-month prison term enough for a man who sexually preyed on children in Bomet County while passing himself off as a Christian missionary?

Some of the victims of Gregory Hayes Dow’s heinous crimes say nothing will heal the lifetime scars he left on their bodies and souls.

A guardian of one of the children said it is not enough for Dow to spend 15 and a half years in prison, insisting that he should be forced to compensate the distraught victims and their families.

“The children were made to believe that what was happening to them at the orphanage was normal. They should be compensated for the trauma they are undergoing,” said the granny who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Bomet County Gender and Social Services director Rose Chepkorir welcomed the conviction and sentence. 

Sex pest

“The second part for the victims is counselling and rehabilitation,” she said. 
 Ms Carolyne Cherotich, a rights activist in Bomet said the jailing of Dow should serve as a warning to sex predators. 

“They can run but cannot hide as the long arm of the law will catch up with them in the end,” Ms Cherotich said. 

Dow was sent to prison by District Judge Edward G. Smith in Lancaster county, Philadelphia, on Thursday for the many crimes he admitted to have committed while in Boito, Bomet county, between 2013 and 2017.

The 61-year-old sex pest will also be under a lifetime of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty to committing the offences against girls between the ages of 11 and 13.

The disgraced missionary was ordered by the court to pay $16,000 (Sh1.7 million) in restitution, according to a dispatch from acting US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania justice department.

Dow ran an orphanage in Kapsiratet village. It was shut in September 2017 when he was accosted by the children sexually molesting one of the girls.

The incident opened the lid on abuse of children at the orphanage, leading to Dow fleeing Kenya to avoid arrest and prosecution. 

Incomprehensible depravity

But the law still caught up with him in the United States. A majority of the children at the home were orphans.

Residents of the sleepy village say Dow passed himself off as a devout Christian missionary, though it later emerged that he was a sexual offender back in America.
Dow looked every inch avuncular and a respected grandfather.

Behind the facade, however, he was a confessed and convicted sexual offender.

He had quietly entered Kenya and continued to perpetrate his crimes – preying on needy and vulnerable children.

By the time of the arrest, nine of the 87 girls under Dow’s care had repeatedly been defiled.

To make matters worse, contraceptive devices had been inserted in their bodies to prevent them from getting pregnant. 

Dow’s wife Mary Rose was in 2017 fined Sh50,000 by a court in Sotik when she pleaded guilty to the charge of implanting birth control devices on the children. 

“He kept to himself most of the times and did not let the children at the home mingle with villagers. It later emerged that it was an attempt to keep the lid shut on the crimes at the  orphanage,” Boito Ward Representative Charles Langat told the Saturday Nation

In July 2019, Dow was charged in the American court with four counts of sexually exploiting the children and pleaded guilty in June last year, with the sentence being handed on Thursday. 

Ms Williams said in a statement that the sentence followed plea of guilt entered by Dow “for sexually abusing four children in an orphanage which the defendant and his wife operated in Kenya”.

Illicit sexual conduct

“Under the guise of faith-based charity work, benefiting orphaned children, Gregory Dow travelled half way around the world to prey on incredibly vulnerable victims,” Williams said.

“His crimes are nearly incomprehensible in their depravity. We thank the witnesses in this case for coming forward to report him, and our law enforcement partners in the United States and Kenya for working diligently to bring Dow to justice. It is no exaggeration to say that the world’s children are safer with Dow behind bars.”

Investigations into the case were conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kenya.

“This case serves as an example to perpetrators of crime. You can run today, but can never hide from the long arm of the law,” the DCI tweeted yesterday morning.

Mr William McSwain, a US Attorney told journalists that Dow faced four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign county.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing 

“From or about October 14, 2013, until on or about September 13, 2014, the defendant engaged in, and attempted to engage in, illicit sexual conduct with four victims in Kenya,” Mr McSwain said.

Mr Michael J. Driscol, Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Philadelphia, said Dow “is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

“Dow presented himself as this big-hearted man when all the while, he was sexually abusing girls placed in his care,” Mr Driscol said in his statement. 

“These horrific crimes were a betrayal of an entire community’s trust. If Dow thought he could get away with it because he was in a different country, if he thought no one would care because these were underprivileged Black children he victimised, this investigation and today’s sentence have most emphatically proved him wrong.”

Before travelling to Kenya from the US in 2008, Dow had been convicted of sexually abusing his daughter.

Dow’s former wife Janie Jenkins has publicly said he abused their daughter for years when the family was in Ohio state.

Dow, who was arrested and charged with the offence, also pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

He received two years’ probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender for a decade in the United States.

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