Court hearing on minor’s sexual assault by teacher commences

GBV and Juvenile court main gate in Juba (Photo by William Madouk Garang)

By William Madouk Garang

The gender-based violence (GBV) and Juvenile court in Juba on Thursday commenced the initial court hearing of a case involving a foreign female teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 3 year-old girl at school in March this year.

A female teacher at the Mercy British International School in Juba has been sued at a GBV and Juvenile court for allegedly molesting a 3 years old minor in an international school in Juba.

The reported sexual assault on the girl child by her teacher prompted the Ministry of General Education and Instruction to suspend the school where the incident was reported in.

The survivor’s family lawyer, Suhaila Deng Adim told media earlier that the child whose name is being withheld for sensitivity of the matter had reported the alleged misconduct to her parents, who did medical examination on the child.

He said after the medical results, the mother reported the matter to school, but school denied the allegation. The family in return then sued the suspected teacher who reportedly did the act in March.

After having listened principal investigator and two lawyers from both side of the plaintiff and defendant, the presiding Judge Andrew Joshua Lado adjourned the court session till 21st June.

Public Persecution Attorney, Sabino Okuj Obok, one of lawyers who offered legal aid to the family said, he had presented to court the evidences to the case and they are waiting for the second session next week.

“Today is the first session for the trial of criminal case No: 102/2022, which is a crime committed against the child of 3 years. This crime happened at school called Mercy British International School in Juba,” Obok told journalists after the court session yesterday (Thursday).   

“The crime was committed by one the school teachers against child, who entered her finger into girl’s private part, which resulted to a bleeding and wounds in her [girl’s] private part,” claimed Obok, the Public Prosecutor Attorney.

He said the act is against South Sudanese’ norms and culture that need to be looked into critically and admitted so, the court will pronounce a sound judgment soon.

However, the defense lawyer, Reech Ring Bol after the hearing said that there was no concrete evidence against his client the accused foreign female teacher, adding that the whole narrative was based on hearsays.

“The source of information that this crime has happened is according to the complainant who is the mother of the child saying [relaying] a statement from her baby saying that this thing had happened to me,” Bol protested.

“When you brought the case there must be direct evidences but most of the evidence presented to the court they’re hearsays – we heard, we heard, and this one it needs special proof,” he added.

Bol said medical report presented by investigator doesn’t hold any solid proof against his client, saying that it’s a doctor who will examine to determine whether cuts was caused by finger and whose finger.

“We are not going now to judge and determine anything until medical doctor comes because medical doctor is specialist who can tell us but there’s no connection that this act was done by Y or X or Z because there’s no direct evidence or witness that was seeing the suspected teacher commuting this crime” he explained. 

“There’s no any clarification when this wounds had happened, how it happened and happened through what? When you talk about that one and confirm that it’s a finger, you suppose for instance to confirm finger belong to who and when? Added advocate Bol.

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