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Judicial CP - March 1999

Corpun file 3475

Daily Nation, Nairobi, 13 March 1999

Clergyman to serve seven years for rape

By NATION Correspondent

A pastor in Nandi District was yesterday jailed for seven years for raping a mother of two.

Phineas Kasomba of African B Church will also receive 15 strokes of the cane. He will be under police supervision for five years upon completion of the sentence.

Kapsabet Senior Resident Magistrate Francis Kinyanjui jailed Kasomba after he admitted he raped a housewife at Namgoi village in Kapsabet Town last September 10 and infected her with a venereal disease.

Prosecutor Fred Wepukhulu told the court the priest fled after committing the offence and was arrested in Cherangani.

He asked the court to give a deterrent sentence and declare "total war" on clergymen who rape members of their flock.

Inspector Wepukhulu said: "Society loses hope when a pastor, a man of God, turns beastly and sexually harasses church members".

In mitigation, Kasomba said he was remorseful and was led by bad spirits into committing the offence. The 38-year-old churchman told the court his children would suffer if he was sent to prison. He pleaded to be put on probation instead.

But the magistrate noted that sexual offences were rampant in the district. He recalled that on February 23, a PAG pastor was jailed in the same court for a similar offence.

Mr Kinyanjui said priests and other church leaders should set a good example to others. The evidence in court established that the pastor raped the woman, he said, the State having proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The doctor's report indicated Kasomba was suffering from a venereal disease which he transmitted to the housewife.

The magistrate noted that clerics who hide under the church to commit sexual offences against their members would no longer be trusted.

As such, they ought to be separated from their flock. He gave Kasomba 14 days to appeal.

Last month, Pastor Ibrahim Busienei was jailed for seven years and ordered to receive 15 strokes of the cane for defiling a primary school girl.

Since the beginning of the year, Mr Kinyanjui has handled more than 21 rape cases and other related offences.

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