German national on human trafficking and defilement charges denied bail
A suspected paedophile who is facing charges of human trafficking, defilement and making of pornographic videos of minors will remain in custody until his trial is concluded.
Thomas Scheller, a 71-year-old German national, who lost his bail application was ordered to be detained at the Kilimani Police Station until July 21, 2020 when his trial commences.
Senior Resident Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe declined to grant Scheller bond saying, witnesses in the case are minors who will testify first before further orders.
In her brief ruling, the magistrate said she has studied the reports prepared by the Children’s Officer and noted that he is opposed to the release of the accused on bond before the minors testify.
The magistrate therefore said that witness will be received from the minors before the court can make further directions either for or against Scheller.
The prosecution, led by Winnie Moraa, handed over the witness statement to the accused immediately the magistrate declined his bail application.
The accused has been charged with trafficking, defiling them and making pornographic videos using the minors. The alleged pornographic videos were reportedly wired overseas to accomplices involved in child molestation.
The prosecution claims the offences occurred in Kisumu and Kwale Counties.
The bail application was made by defence lawyer John Swaka.
“Given the current Covid-19 pandemic scourge and considering the age of the suspect before court, it’s prudent you release him on bond to keep himself safe outside the remand homes,” Swaka submitted.
The court had been told the accused will avail persons to stand bail for him and also prove he has a fixed abode.
The Germany Embassy had sent an officer to follow the proceedings in court.
Presenting the bail plea, Swaka said the accused has been in custody for the last three years and was willing to make undertaking to attend trial.
The prosecution had opposed the bail plea stating the offences attract harsh penalties which may be an incentive for the accused to jump bail.
Scheller has denied being unlawfully in Kenya besides the child trafficking, defilement and pornography charges.
It is alleged that between March and April 2020 at Nyalenda in Kisumu Central, he defiled a 13-year-old child. He has also been charged with two counts of showing a pornographic video to underage boys.
“On diverse dates between the months of March and April at Nyalenda in Kisumu, he unlawfully and intentionally exposed a child aged 13 years to an indecent audiovisual,” the charge sheet reads.
It is alleged that the accused intentionally and unlawfully recruited, transported and harboured a 13-year-old child for purposes of exploitation by means of fraud.
The accused is also facing three counts of defiling three minors, the youngest being 10 years old, by sodomising them. He is also facing an alternative charge of committing an indecent act with a minor
Sheller denied all the seven counts claiming he was being framed. He said he has no interest in having sex with children, adding that the minors are lying.
However, the prosecution said the accused is a child molester and should not be released on bail because he is a foreigner without a valid permit to allow him to be in Kenya.
“There are three victims of tender age and we are apprehensive if released before the minors testify, he will influence them,” the prosecution said.
Scheller was arrested on May 5 after the police had trailed him for months. According to the police he was arrested outside the German Embassy in the company of one of the victims.