A 23-year-old barber, Kwame Amponsah, has been sentenced to 114 years imprisonment for sodomising 12 pupils in a basic school at Jejeti Atewase in the Kwahu West Municipality of the Eastern Region.
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The pupils, between the ages of 6 to 12, are in Class Two to Class Four.
Unit Head of Community Development under the Social Welfare Department, Victor Feyi, said the matter was revealed after his outfit’s community engagement at Atewase.
The Social Welfare and Community Development under its Child Protection Programme in selected MMDAs across the country were at the community to interact with residents and pupils on Friday, November 5.
A teacher of the school also made submissions that pupils left classrooms frequently to the washroom, which was quite unusual.
The teacher’s concern caught the attention of personnel from the Social Welfare and Community Development to probe pupils further on that same day.
Two pupils were interrogated after the programme and they confessed they have been sodomised by the barber.
He was then arrested with the help of the community and sent to the police station on that same day.
The team, together with school management, took the pupils to the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw to run a medical test for them on sexually transmitted diseases. The first test came out negative.
The barber was remanded in police custody to reappear on the following Monday as investigations continued.
Between that period, and after the safe return of the first two pupils to school, 10 more pupils confided in their teacher that the barber had sodomised them as well.
They were sent to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) to go through the process as well.
The Atewase community is not connected to the national grid and so it is said that the barber, after charging his phone in a community nearby, lures the pupils to come and watch videos on his phone in his house.
He also sends them on errands in his bedroom, where he gets access to them.
Some of his victims are given GH¢1 or GH¢2 after the ordeal.
He is known to provide free haircuts for several pupils in the community as well.
The Social Welfare and Community Development investigations indicated that some pupils reported being threatened after the act.
On Monday, November 15, the barber was sentenced to prison for 114 years by His Lordship Stephen Kumi of the Mpraeso Circuit Court.
Prosecutor Chief Inspector Beatrice Larbi explained that the barber will serve seven years each for the case involving the first two pupils and 10 years each for the 10 other pupils who reported their case later.
Mr Feyi wants parents to be concerned about their wards and take their reports seriously.
He also wants parents to ensure pupils do not stay out after bedtime.
“Parents must play their part in child protection. We need to protect the psychology of the child.”
Meanwhile, the pupils are expected to meet psychologists and go through a second medical testing exercise.
“We are bringing psychologists to erase the man-to-man see they have had in their mind. These are just six years and above boys.”
The second medical test is scheduled for Friday, December 3.