Three boys in their 20s at the New Georgia Estate in Gardnerville, late Sunday evening drugged and gang raped a 19 year old girl; only one of them arrested and the other two on the run as police in the area are mounting search for them while the family of the arrested culprit negotiates for compromised settlement with the survivor and the Executive Director of a gender-based NGO, the Women Protecting Female Inmates & Welfare (WOPROFIW), Madam K. Veronica Solbor, who said compromising the case is not within her purview as the case was already turned over to the police; but the survivor who is already discharged from the Benson Hospital does not settle in for a compromise, vow to ensure prosecution of the culprits. A Liberian Journalist was on the scene and reports.
It is a gang rape incident at the New Georgia Estate-Gardnersville where the survivor, a nineteen year-old slimming dark girl (name withheld) drowsily came by yelling “they kill me ooo, they kill ooo my people! You ‘ll come to me – my stomach!”
As the cry echoed across the neighborhood, the lass could no longer walk further. She fell under a light pole where she went groaned-breathing drop-by-drop and softly saying: It is Wallace and his friends; it is Wallace and his friends; they raped me.” The alleged raped survivor suddenly fell asleep even before police arrived on the scene accused perpetrators absconded though, one was arrested; he is James Wallace who is presently in police detention.
The rape incident created a scene that attracted throng of people that came running from every nook and corner of the area to catch a glimpse of the girl who alleged that she was drugged by the three lads, Mark Mulbah, Oliver Hugger, Jr. – a son of a one-time ELBC Radio producer, and James Wallace.
The actual content of the egg-nut alcoholic drink used to render the survivor drowsy could not be disclosed, but a widespread suspicion in the neighborhood holds that it was a sleeping drug that is usually used for resting based on doctor’s prescription.
As dozens of people trooped in with their smartphones, taking snaps of the helpless lass late evening (at about 10:30PM), the gender activist and Executive Director WOPROFIW, Inc., Madam Solbor came rushing, saying that the rape survivor needs protection. Although the multitude failed to heed her advice with some issuing threats of arson on her residence for the intervention, Madam Solbor immediately called in the police from Saah Joseph Police Depot to provide the needed protection.
Suddenly, some guys in the meantime nabbed one of the three alleged perpetrators, James Wallace, and escorted him to the crime scene where the WOPROFIW executive director contained him until the police arrived. Wallace was then turned over to the officers who immediately took charged, removed the survivor to the Benson Hospital and seized the liberty of the alleged perpetrator to the police cell pending investigation and court trial.
Explaining her ordeal from the hospital, the rape survivor said this was the second time that she got raped with impunity. “During the first time, I was raped and the perpetrators were arrested. But my mother compromised the case because she received one hundred United States dollars from the culprits.” The survivor said her mother and Wallace’s mom are again rallying to get Wallace off the hook by a compromised settlement, but the police have referred them the gender activist and WOPROFIW executive director for consent.
She explained that it was on the fateful night of Sunday, the 11th of November, 2018 when she and the three boys were sitting in the area conversing ordinarily when Oliver Hugger Jr. brought the egg-nut in the bottle and offered her to drink it.
“I thought it was in good faith and so I accepted the offer; but when I drank the liquor, I went dizzy and slowly lost my consciousness helplessly. “But eyewitnesses told me that Monsior (as Oliver Hugger is called,) lifted me in his hand and took me to a room, where they slept with me one after the other and they all left me. And in that instance, I came out weak calling for help eyewitnesses further told me.”
The survivor indicated how she was told that it was the intervention of Madam Solbor that rescued her from further eventuality. “It was even good that sister Korpo came around; if she and her people were not there, what would have happened to me? When I regained consciousness, I saw myself lying at the hospital,” the 19-year old girl sobbed.
She described her experience as disparaging and hope that this should never happen to her anymore. “This is why I will not accept a compromise as long as I get the support of those who stand against rape in the society,” she said,
Madam Solbor, popularly known as ‘Sis Korpo’, expressed total disapproval of such inhumane and heinous crime. “If the survivor will accept compromised settlement, they should not involve me. I will report this case to the Independent Commission of Human Rights (ICHR), the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Justice for protection of the rights of this kid.,” Madam Solbor said.
“I cannot compromise my institutional and personal integrity for pecuniary gain,” Madam Solbor told this reporter. She admitted that the mother of the survivor and the mother of Mr. Wallace, the alleged perpetrator have been convincing her to allow the case compromised like the girl said they did before; but I cannot do it this time around; the girl must be given justice., saying that the girl is at the age of consent and could decide or not to compromise her case.
The gender advocate and activist told of threats from gangs of folks that are in solidarity with Wallace, to the extent of threating arson on her residence. “They even threatened to incriminate me and any member of my family if I should allow Wallace Prosecuted.”
Madam Solbor is therefore calling attention of the government including the Ministries of Justice and Gender, the gender and human rights community, civil society organizations and the Independent Commission of Human Rights as well as the international gender/feminist communities to take cognizant of this case and the threats against her and her family for coming to the aid of this 19-year-old abused girl.
In a related development, some neighbors who do not want to be named have testified that they have seen Mulbah, Hugger and Wallace with the survivor, saying that they noticed Monsior (Hugger) taken the girl in the dark with Mulbah and Wallace, but they thought it was just a joke between them and the girl.
Meanwhile, the Women and Children division of the Saah Joseph Depot of the Liberia National Police is handling the rape case, and the Benson Hospital to which the survivor was taken for treatment is expected to release medical reports to the police probe of the case, according to a police source.
In the meantime, the arrested culprit has been remanded into the custody of the Monrovia Central Prison by the Gardnersville Magisterial Court which transferred the matter to the Temple of Justice on jurisdictional ground while the remaining two are been sought.