Liberia: Man 40, Allegedly Rapes 6-Year-Old Stepdaughter

-There are reports of unprecedented criminal activities across Ganta, involving armed robbery.

Officers of the Women and Children Protection Department of the Liberia National Police Ganta Detail have charged a 40-year-old man for rape, pending court trial.

According to the police, Lester Paye, a resident of Gleyeelu community in Ganta, was left in charge of his 6-year-old stepdaughter, while the child's mother went into the bush to purchase goods. Upon her return on September 30, 2020, she observed that the child had been tampered with as the little girl's way of walking had changed.

Police investigators said, when the girl's mother, Angeline, came returned from the bush, she took the girl to the Esther and Jerelyn Medical Center, where the parent was informed that her daughter was raped. When the mother asked the little girl who did it, she pointed a finger at her stepfather, telling her mother, "da our pa."

"The incident took place on September 30, 2020, but it was reported to the police on October 5, and the accused has been charged with "rape", pending court trial," said Jenkin Mangou, chief investigator at the Women and Children Protection Department of the LNP in Ganta.

The man, however, continues to deny the allegation, the police had said. They rule out and previous confusion between the man and his girlfriend, whose daughter was allegedly raped prior to the incident.

"Currently, the victim has been transferred to Sanniquellie for treatment," the police told the Daily Observer.

In a separate development, a 23-year-old lady has been charged with "aggravated assault" after she injured her 12yr old sister for cutting her son's hair.

The WCPS said the lady, Lydia Tonkah used a sharp razor blade to gash the little girl on her face and hands and chest in retaliation for cutting her (Lydia's) son's hair.

Police said the perpetrator had admitted to the crime, saying when she came from buying her cooking ingredients, she discovered her son's hair had been cut by her little sister with scissors and she decided to cut her little sister's hair too, but the girl resisted; so she gashed her in her face.

Insecurity in Ganta

Meanwhile, there are reports of unprecedented criminal activities across Ganta, involving armed robbery. Recently, time, where on Tuesday, October 6, three market women from Saclapea were held at gunpoint and robbed of several thousands of Liberian dollars at the Ganta Main Street around the Old UBA Bank at about 9 p.m.

The three women complained that they were robbed in the presence of some people, who were standing not far from where they were put at gunpoint, but no one came to their rescue until their the criminals took their belongings and fled.

One of the issues affecting the booming of businesses at night in Ganta is the absence of streetlights, rendering the streets and the city as a whole dark and dangerous to pedestrians, as well as those entering the city from other places.

In another robbery incident, a man with a single barrel gun, in an attempt to steal cattle on Sanniquellie highway, shot the owner of the cattle. The perpetrator remains at large, while the victim is undergoing treatment.

The police Crime Services Division (CSD) in an interview with the local station Thursday, October 8, confirmed the rising crime rate and said they are doing all their best to ensure that the crime rate is brought under control. According to them, they are faced with serious logistical challenges, which cannot allow them to respond immediately when there is a call.

"Our men are on the alert and working hard to ensure that people go about their normal duty, but we do not have any patrol car or motorbike to effectively do our work or reach the crime scene whenever there is an emergency call," they told Radio Kehgheaman on a morning show.

Ganta has a population of approximately 100,000, where police patrol is supposed to be regular and effective at all times, but the issue of lack of logistics appears to be hampering the effectiveness of the police.

Even there is no tow truck to remove any vehicle that may break down, something the residents, especially the business community continues to critique the government that the taxes collected from them are not fully impacting their lives.

"We are paying taxes every season and still living in fear. No free movement because, when a car breaks down on the main street, it remains there perpetually until it is repaired," said one Joseph Flomo, a resident of Ganta.

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