My teacher, the rapist next door: Man arrested for defiling teenager in Nairobi

The teacher  (left, face covered),  at a leading high-end private Nairobi school gets down from a police truck at the Langata Police Station on July 13, 2022 after he was arrested on allegations of child defilement.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu I Nation Media Group

A teacher at a leading private primary school in Nairobi was arrested Wednesday over allegations that he had defiled his neighbour’s 14-year-old daughter.

The child, a Standard Seven pupil at a different primary school, was yet to understand the gravity of the matter, after the suspect convinced her that whatever they were doing was right, to the extent that she told her parents that they were meddling in her “relationship”.

The man is married and has two children, one aged 15 and the other seven.

The girl’s mother said she had repeatedly cautioned her daughter about going to the man’s house. The girl often said she had gone to the suspect's house to play with his children or do academic work.

The abuse could have remained a secret had the girl’s younger sibling not taken her iPad to their mother for help to connect the device to their home’s Wi-Fi.

Startled

While working out the settings, the mother unknowingly opened the browser and was startled by the history of the pages her daughter had visited. The girl had accessed Facebook's Messenger and had been in constant communication with the suspect.

Knowing well that what he was doing was wrong, the teacher would delete his text messages moments after the young girl replied. The child, however, had no reason to do so and kept all her messages intact.

Text messages seen by the Nation show the child asking questions about the man’s wife and her own mother. The child also used sweet names when addressing the suspect, whom she even fondly referred to as “dad”. 

In some messages, the child calls the teacher a liar for saying he loves her yet he still has a wife. In another conversation, the teenager asks the man if he loves her mother and even asks him to call her mother and tell him that he loves her.

In yet another message, the child tells the teacher not to call her because her father was awake and that she could not visit the man anymore.

Long talk

Shocked by the nature of the conversations, the mother called her daughter and had a long talk with her. The girl informed her that the two had a relationship and they had been intimate at least four times.

“I was devastated. The man has brainwashed my girl completely. She believes what they are doing is perfectly normal and even told me she would willingly go live with him in the event I chased her from home,” she said.

She called the family lawyer, who advised her to report the abuse to the nearest police station in Lang’ata, which is what she did last Saturday, recorded the matter under OB number 25/09/07/2022.

The gender desk at the station advised her that the best day to arrest the man would be on Wednesday (yesterday) when schools reopened. 

That day, a Nation reporter accompanied police officers to the suspect’s school, where the principal was informed about the accusations and summoned the teacher. In a matter of minutes, the suspect, dressed in a black suit, a light purple shirt, a dotted brown tie and black shoes, marched into the office.

At first, he denied knowing the girl and only admitted it when reminded that he had been neighbours with the girl’s family until last month, when the latter moved to another area in Nairobi.

“Yes, I know her, she is my son’s friend. They lived next door,” he said.

It was then that he was escorted to the police station to record his statement. A senior police officer told the Nation that the suspect would be denied cash bail pending his arraignment in a Kibera court today (Thursday).

“We are surprised by this particular case because it is the first one we have received from the estates around here. Often, these cases come from the Highrise, Kibera and Raila slums. This is a first of its kind since I reported here,” the police officer said.

Stung by the abuse

The suspect’s arrest, however, did nothing to lessen the pain of the child’s mother, who was stung by the abuse and is seeking counselling for her daughter, who she fears will one day be affected by what has happened to her.

“I am just remembering all those times we (she and the suspect) met on those stairs and in the parking area, yet he knew he was sleeping with my child and he acted normal. This is very painful,” she said.

The family lawyer said the suspect would get the punishment he deserves, noting that defilement carries a conviction of not less than 20 years under the Sexual Offences Act.

“It is unfortunate that someone who is entrusted with our children decides to take advantage of an innocent child and abuse her. We now leave it to the judicial system to fight for the girl and ensure justice is duly served,” she said.

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