John Gichira, a 51-year-old pastor, was sentenced to 140 years in prison in Ndia Constituency, Kirinyaga County, Kenya, for impregnating his two children, aged 14 and 16.
The pastor was slapped with a 70-year jail term for sexually abusing each of the girls when he appeared before Senior Principal Magistrates, Anthony Mwicigi of Baricho High Court on Thursday, January 14. The court determined that the sentence must run on a concurrent basis.
“I sentence you 70 years for each offense and you have 14 days to appeal. This court orders that your names to be added to the register of convicted and dangerous offenders.” the Magistrate declared.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said, citing a conviction in a Kirinyaga case, “Gichira will serve 70 years for each count of defilement; the sentences are to run consecutively.”
On January 5, 2021, the accused pleaded guilty to charges and was remanded until Thursday. He blamed the devil for his crimes and begged his children and the court for forgiveness, saying that everybody makes mistakes.
I pray to the court, to those I have insulted, including the girls I have impregnated. This is my first time committing an act of this kind. He said, “I blame Satan for tricking me.”
The prosecution’s charges read out to him suggested that the first crime was committed against his 16-year-old daughter on different dates between 1 and 30 June 2020 in Kinyakiiru village, Kirinyaga. She is 7 months pregnant now.
The second offence against his 14-year-old daughter, who is six months pregnant, was committed on or around August 2020. Both are pupils in primary school.
He was arrested in Mbeere South in Meru County where he had fled to and posed as a Somalia herder, but before he was arrested in the first week of January, residents were suspicious of his accent and tipped authorities.
The court was told that the matter had not been reported and the accused continued to live with the victims in the same complex. The problem was later confirmed by the area chief to Baricho Police Station, causing the suspect to flee before he was tracked and arrested in Mbeere.