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Pastor sentenced to 70 years for abusing two children in Kenya

August 2023

After a nine-year legal battle, a pastor who sexually abused 14-year-old Jedi* and her 11-year-old brother Kevin* has been found guilty and jailed.

After their family joined a new church in their neighbourhood, Jedi and Kevin were abused by a man they trusted to protect and guide them.

After the pastor assaulted Jedi, he beat her and told her, "If you tell anyone, I will kill you!"   

Scared for her life, Jedi didn’t tell anyone. A few days later, the pastor invited Kevin and two other boys to go and stay at his home.

A day after the children arrived, the man began abusing Kevin. He threatened to kill Kevin’s mother if he told anyone about it.

Months later, their mother noticed that Jedi wasn’t herself and took her to the hospital. That’s when the doctors confirmed that Jedi was pregnant.

When Jedi gave birth, a DNA test was carried out. It matched the perpetrator. 

IJM Kenya learned of the children’s plight during a visit to the hospital where Jedi and Kevin were receiving medical support. Shocked by their story, the team decided to offer free legal representation to ensure justice was achieved.

A team of dedicated counsellors and lawyers began working on the case immediately. The family was facing intimidation from the community, which sided with the perpetrator.

During the trial, a police officer even approached the children’s mother and offered her a bribe to drop the accusations, but she declined.

After several counselling sessions, Jedi was able to bravely testify against the man.

Thanks to her testimony and support from IJM and authorities, the pastor - who is suspected of abusing several other children in his church - was found guilty. He will not be able to harm any more children.

"I am happy he is behind bars for a long time now," said Jedi, who is now 23 years old.

"What a journey towards justice! I am so pleased with this verdict and sentence because our clients have endured unimaginable suffering," said Esther Njuguna, IJM Kenya Senior Survivor Services Specialist

Today Kevin is preparing for his final secondary school exams in late 2023.

Jedi sadly felt she couldn’t continue in school, but she enrolled in a food catering course and is now baking and selling cakes.

When Esther visited Jedi after the verdict, Jedi had baked a cake to celebrate with the IJM team.

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