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Breaking News: Life in Prison for Man Who Sexually Abused a 5-year-old Boy in Kenya

Vin had just celebrated his fifth birthday when his mother noticed the bloodstains on his clothes. Vin was crying uncontrollably, he had just been violently, sexually abused by a neighbour he trusted.

Little Vin* was always a happy child who loved school and playing with his friends.

On June 15, 2018, a man spotted him playing alone. The man was not a stranger. He was a neighbour Vin knew which is why Vin believed him when he said his mother had sent him to give him tea and ugali (cornmeal). Vin followed him to his house, but when he asked for the tea, the man abused him.

On the day of the attack, Vin’s mother had gone to sell porridge at a construction site. When she came back, her youngest son was crying uncontrollably. She asked Vin what was making him cry, and he told her the neighbour had hurt him.

Vin’s mother confirmed the worst when she lifted Vin onto her lap and saw bloodstains on his school uniform. She rushed him to the hospital.

The family reported the attacker to the police. He was arrested and charged two days later, but things started getting even more difficult for the family. The perpetrator’s family began sending emissaries to demand they drop the accusations. However, their quest to get justice for Vin was unstoppable.

A friend who saw what Vin's family was going through introduced his mother to IJM. Dedicated IJM staff immediately began working to ensure Vin got the justice he deserved. IJM attorneys supported the state prosecutor in court while social workers counselled Vin and helped him prepare to share the truth in court.

Although Vin was of tender age, he bravely testified against the attacker. He had a learning disability — a condition that affected his communication and speech — but in front of the court his communication was clear. He was able to remember what happened to him and who did it.

He bravely faced the man who had abused him in court, raised his hand, pointed at him and said, “it was you who hurt me, and I felt pain.”

The trial magistrate said there was no doubt he assaulted Vin and that his conviction “Should serve as a strong warning to anyone who preys on innocent children.” On November 4, 2021, the attacker was sentenced to life imprisonment. Thanks to the quick action of his mother, prosecutors and IJM Kenya staff, today, Vin and his family can look forward to a safer future.

Esther Njuguna, the IJM Aftercare worker who supported Vin, said she was not only happy with the decision of the court but was glad it was made possible by the strong testimony given by the child.

IJM will continue to walk with and support Vin who is undergoing therapy and is doing well in school.

The mission and quest for justice has never been more real than when doing so for the most vulnerable in our midst.

– Julius Nyaga Senior Assistant Casework Justice System Interventions, Kenya

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