Teacher jailed 12 yrs for defiling girl, 12

Akpalu under police escort to prison, after he was sentenced

Akpalu under police escort to prison, after he was sentenced

UNREPENTANT Basic School teacher, Benjamin Lern Akpalu who defiled a 12-year-old girl in his class and defended his vile conduct by telling the Ho Circuit Court that the girl already had a big “pussy” was yesterday slammed with a 15-year hard labour prison term.

Akpalu sweated profusely throughout the sitting, cleaning his face every now and then with a huge handkerchief, with his head bowed.

Although he pleaded not guilty, the Primary Class-six teacher, at one stage of the trial told the court that he did not force the girl into the sexual act.

Madam Priscilla Dikro, presiding, rejected that defence as irrelevant with regards to the tender age of the victim.

The prosecution called three witnesses during the trial while Akpalu called none.

Sergeant Clever Ayayee of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) has told the court that Akpalu, during classes on January 28, this year, asked the girl to come over to his house at Sokode-Gbogame later in the day to help him to tidy up his room.

The prosecution said that Akpalu then gave the unsuspecting girl GHc 2.00 for transportation from Akrofu-Xeviofe to Sokode-Gbogame.

When the girl turned up at the teacher’s place of abode at about sunset that day, he led her into his room and had sex with her, the prosecution added.

The court was further told that after the act, Akpalu warned the underage girl not to disclose what happened between them to anyone.

The prosecution revealed that the teacher again gave the girl GHc 2.00 for transportation back to Akrofu-Xeviofe.

The alleged victim, who was led in evidence by the prosecution, told the court that she suffered excruciating pain during the sex act.

She also revealed how she narrated the ordeal she went through at the hands of Akpalu to another teacher at the school who became suspicious after the accused was seen another day giving her a pineapple, the key to his room and some money, at the school.

Passing sentence, the court stated that the duration of sex was not what determined defilement, for which reason it could accept Akpalu’s defence.

The court said that it took into account the fact that Akpalu was a first time offender and would have loved to pass the minimum sentence.

“But we also want to send a strong warning to like-minded men to leave the girl child alone to go to school”, the court explained.

Apart from that, the court noted that Akpalu was a teacher of the victim and he was aware of Ghana Education Service regulations which did not endorse such conducts by teachers.

When asked by the court if he had something to say in mitigation, Akpalu, 29, turned less arrogant at that juncture and said: “I am still begging for mercy, I am the only one looking after my mother”.

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