22 September 2017

Lesotho: Cop Probed for Sexual Assault

POLICE are investigating a case in which a female suspect was allegedly sexually assaulted in police custody by one of the police officers at Thamae Police Station on Monday evening.

Police spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli, confirmed that they were investigating a suspected case of a sexual offence and that no arrest had been made so far.

"We are currently investigating an incident in which a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by one of our own after being brought to Thamae Police Station on charges of common theft," Inspector Mopeli said.

Some sources privy to the matter said that the police officer took the woman to his residence on the pretext that he would give her food because she had complained of hunger.

Once at his house, the officer allegedly took advantage and raped her.

"He took the lady with him to his house saying that he was going to give her food as she hadn't eaten anything in a long time and raped her. He then took her back to the holding cell as if nothing had happened," the source said.

However, Inspector Mopeli said the lady was asked about her alleged ordeal by the station commander only for her to deny that anything like that had happened.

"The station commander asked her about the alleged incident but she is said to have denied everything. However, a case was opened because the lady said the police officer only asked for her contact details.

"It is not appropriate for a police officer to conduct himself in that manner to a suspect who is in custody. It reflects badly on us as an institution and suspects need to feel safe and not taken advantage of when they are held in custody," Inspector Mopeli said.

Another source told this publication that the woman this week approached the Director of Public Prosecutions' office in an attempt to withdraw the case against the police officer.

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