Woman pleading innocence had lured minor into sex escapades – Judiciary
The Judiciary has defended itself after a convict claimed she was wrongfully jailed for 10 years for a crime she did not commit.
Lydia Achieng, in an interview with Inooro TV last week, explained how a neighbour in Kiserian had wrongly accused her of defiling a teenage boy who was a friend to an orphaned girl Achieng was living with.
But the judiciary, in a statement through the Deputy Director, Public Affairs and Communication Catherine Wambui, said Ms Achieng was convicted after a fair trial that included a testimony from the victim.
She said that a review of court records reveal that Lydia Achieng Juma was charged with the offence of Committing an Indecent Act with a Child Contrary to Section 11(1) of the Sexual Offences Act no 3 of 2006.
LURED BOY TO SEX
“Lydia was taken through the full trial process. The court heard her out while the State called four witnesses including the 13-year-old minor who was the victim. It was established that Lydia lured the boy into having sex with her on three different occasions between August and September 2010,” read part of the statement.
Ms Wambui added that the Magistrate, D.O. Onyango, observed that: “I find that the accused took advantage of Prosecution Witness 1’s (the young boy) age and mind in order to achieve her selfish motives. She not only touched him inappropriately in a manner which was obviously indecent, but went on and had sex with him.
“She should be lucky that the prosecution preferred a lesser charge of indecent assault against her (because the minor was not examined by a doctor). In a nutshell, I find that the prosecution proved (its case) beyond reasonable doubt…”
According to Ms Wambui, Lydia Achieng only appealed against the sentence and not the conviction. The court was only enjoined to determine the propriety of the sentence.
In the appeal, High Court, Judge Lady Justice Grace Ngenye ruled that: “Any person who commits an indecent act with a child is guilty of an offence of committing an indecent act with a child and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.”
The Judge noted therefore that, notwithstanding her mitigating factors, the sentence could not be varied. She added that save for poor investigations, it was a case deserving of a conviction for the offence of defilement because it was established by three of the four witnesses who testified that she had had sexual intercourse with the minor boy.
The appeal was not only dismissed, but the Judge said Lydia was lucky not to get more years in jail as the state did not indicate that it wanted to have the sentence enhanced.
“The Judiciary’s position on this matter is that Lydia Achieng was taken through the full due legal and trial process, including an opportunity to appeal. She is a properly and conclusively convicted sexual offender. The Judiciary has a responsibility to apply the law and ensure those adults who sexually prey on minors are duly punished,” said Ms Wambui in the statement.