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Teacher jailed 7 years for sodomizing 18 pupils

Source The Ghana Report

The Tamale Circuit Court has sentenced a 32-year-old Kulpi R/C Junior High School teacher to seven years for sodomizing 18 pupils.

The accused, Nantomah Yamousah Otabil, earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges preferred against him after investigations by the police.

Last year, the East Gonja Municipal Education Director reported the convicted teacher for allegedly sodomizing school pupils.

Later some pupils also accused the teacher of sodomizing them, increasing the number to 18.

Subsequently, he was arrested by the East Gonja Police command and arraigned before the Salaga court.

The Salaga Magistrate Court discharged him for lack of jurisdiction. However, he was rearrested and put before the Circuit Court, where he pleaded guilty.

The facts of the case presented in court are that the suspect is a Social Studies teacher at Kulpi Roman Catholic JHS in the East Gonja Municipality of the Savanna Region.

On Thursday, 23 September 2021, five of the victims confided in a female teacher of the school that their Social Studies teacher had been harassing them sexually.

The pupils confessed that the teacher took advantage of them at the teacher’s quarters and had forcefully had a sexual encounter with them through the anus without using a condom after he lured them to his residence under the pretext of sending them on errands.

The female teacher, on hearing this, informed the headmaster, who, in turn, told his assistant.

The victims were invited to the headmaster’s office for questioning, where they admitted that the same teacher had sexually harassed several others.

The accused was later invited, and when asked, he admitted to the said allegations.

Background

The suspect was arrested in the early hours of Monday, 27 September, following a complaint lodged by some family members of the victims.

Nine pupils initially accused the teacher of the crime, but seven later opened up to also point fingers at the teacher. As of Thursday, 30 September,  a total of 18 pupils had come forward, accusing Otabil of the crime.

It is still unclear why the teacher who has been teaching in the community for the past four years would engage in such activities, but residents say this might not be his first time.

Colleague teachers who heard of his arrest expressed shock indicating that Otabil had never exhibited such traits.

“Otabil is somebody that if someone had told me that he has even slept with a lady, I wouldn’t have believed because ever since I have been here in the same quarters with him for the past four years, I have never seen him with a lady before.

“He is also a Pentecost Elder, and he prays a lot. It was difficult for me when I heard the news; I’m still in shock,” Nyaaba Veronica told 3news.

Previous Incidents

This is not the first time the issue of sodomy has surfaced in schools.

On 1 June 2011, a Mathematics teacher of Adisadel College in Cape Coast was alleged to have sodomized some students.

Richard Atta Panyin was arrested following a report made by the Headmaster of ADISCO, Mr H.K. Graham.

On 22 March 2018, a 21-year-old teacher was sentenced to eight years for sodomizing a class one pupil.

The convict Michael Owiredu of the Alabasta Preparatory School at Opah, near Amasaman, was hired by the victim’s father to conduct extra classes for the boy at home.

He took advantage of the situation to sexually abuse the boy. His first encounter with the victim was in an uncompleted building in the vicinity. On other occasions, Owiredu took the victim to his house to have anal sex with him.

Also, on 20 June 2020, a 30-year-old class three teacher, Seth Kwabena Anim, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for sodomizing a 12-year-old boy.

The victim (name withheld) is a first-year Junior High School (JHS) student in the school where the convict teaches.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, Anim visited the victim at home to assist him with his online school assignments.

Anim was arrested on 11 June 2020, when the victim’s mother suspected the teacher of having unnatural carnal knowledge with her son.

He was sentenced on his second appearance when he pleaded guilty to a charge of defilement.

He is to serve his sentence in the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison in the Central Region.

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