23 October 2018

Liberia: More Than Me Students March Streets in Defense of Katie's 'Innocence' in Serial Rape Saga

Photo: Liberian Observer
Facia Harris, the spokesperson of the group in a petition to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender and other government agencies, said they were deeply troubled by the ProPublica report released on October 11, detailing the incidents of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation of the Liberian girls under the care of the More Than Me Academy.

Monrovia — Students of More Than Me (MTM) Academy are gathering for a peaceful march to portray the 'innocence' of its founder, Katie Meyler, who is being accused of covering up series of rape meted against students by her partner, McIntosh Johnson.

Johnson was responsible for recruitment of girls from under privileged communities for enrolment in the scholarship program. He is believed to have infected the girls with HIV.

He was arrested in 2014 and died of an AIDS-related illness in 2016 in prison while awaiting a re-trial.

Since the news was broken by ProPublica, many Liberians have been calling for the closure of the institution and the prosecution of its CEO, Meyler.

However, students of the school, most of whom come from West Point, are seen gathering on Ashmun Street in Central Monrovia with placards and banners indicating that Meyler should not be implicated in McIntosh's crime.

The writings on their placards include: "More than me is Katie no Katie no MTM"; "We stand with Katie"; "Katie we are with you to the end"; "Do not hurt our hero", among others.

Parents of students are divided over the protest. FrontPage Africa witnessed Cecelia Dahn pulling her daughter out of the file. She said, it is the government's responsibility to handle the case, not the children's.

Another parent (name withheld) who claims his daughter is being stigmatized as a result of the abuse says he supports the protest and would, therefore, serve as a wakeup call for government to speed up investigation into the matter.

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