A Circuit Court in Cape Coast has acquitted and discharged a 27-year-old associate pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church who was remanded for allegedly defiling a 14- year-old girl at Ekumfi Eyisam in the Ekumfi District.
During the beginning of the trial which was earlier held in camera, the Court did not take the plea of Pastor Joseph Wiredu Mensah who had been charged with defilement and adjourned the case to January 30.
Police Inspector Samuel Amoako told the court presided over by Mr. Kofi Seshie Ametewee that the mother of the victim, a trader, lives at Ekumfi Eyisam near Mankessim with her daughter.
He said in October last year, the girl’s mother pleaded with the pastor and his wife who is her class teacher to allow the girl to live with and serve them but he reluctantly accepted after the mother had insisted.
Inspector Amoako alleged that between November and December last year, Mensah had sexual intercourse with the victim on three occasions but the last encounter ended her at the hospital after she collapsed and this compelled the victim to tell her mother about her ordeal.
He said Mensah took the girl to the Saltpond Government Hospital where she was admitted, treated and discharged.
On hearing of the incident, the girl’s mother reported the issue to the police and Pastor Mensah was arrested.
According to Inspector Amoako, the pastor told the police that he took her to the Saltpond Government Hospital in the company of a colleague, where she was treated and discharged and that the girl had revealed to him that whilst she was living at Ashaiman she was defiled.
The pastor further alleged that the girl reported to him that someone attempted to defile her when she came to live with him and he was compelled to send the girl back to her mother when she started acting strangely.
Accused acquitted and Discharged
Meanwhile, in his judgement delivered on 7th September, 2016, the trial Judge, Mr. Kofi Seshie Ametewee after listening to the statements from both parties, stated that, “On the totality of the facts, and the evidence adduced, I would have to say Prosecution has fallen short of providing its case to the standard required by aw and with these serious doubts, I am unable to convict the Accused person. I hereby acquit and discharged him.”
The Judge indicated in his Judgement that a sexual encounter is an intimate affair and therefore each victim, unless there is evidence to the contrary, will know her assailant and further indicated that the victim in the case (the girl) did not report her ordeal to her room-mate who she considered a “friend and mother”, nor at hospital, where she has the opportunity to do so. “Instead, she informed the Court, she told her 3 best friends in school.”
Meanwhile, the Prosecution did not parade any of the said three friends to testify and offer more credibility to the case.
Below is the full Judgement from the Court: