Top hospital 'detains' officer over rape claim

According to hospital staff, the officers, who had accompanied the victim's parents, dropped the girl off without providing her medical history, raising suspicion.

Operations at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital were yesterday temporarily disrupted as the facility's security team and the public attempted to arrest a police officer accused of defiling a 16-year-old girl.

The officer attached to Ratta police station in Seme Sub-county was in the company of three of his colleagues when they drove the victim to the hospital.

According to hospital staff, the officers, who had accompanied the victim's parents, dropped the girl off without providing her medical history, raising suspicion.

Threatened by officers

On questioning, the girl's parents, who had claimed to have been threatened by the officers, opened up to the hospital staff about what had transpired. Security personnel at the main gate were instructed to block the police car from leaving.

The public quickly caught up with the vehicle and attempted to eject the suspected officer from it before he was rescued by his colleagues.

A push-and-pull ensued as the officers and hospital guards fought for the gate, before the public joined in, again, barricading the gate in a melee that lasted about one hour.

The police car had to be driven back to the casualty area to escape the surging angry crowd, which was threatening to lynch the suspect and torch the car.

The officers called for reinforcement. With the help of the hospital's Superintendent Peter Okoth, the officers drove out towards Kondele police station amid shouts and hooting from bodaboda riders.

The girl's mother said the Form Three student had sneaked out of their home on December 31, to attend a night party at a club in Ratta.

"When she returned the following morning, we decided to take her to the police station to help us discipline her,” said the mother.

The officer at the OB table asked the parents to leave the girl behind to be locked up in the cell.

On January 1, the parents went back to the police station to pick her up, hoping that she "had learnt her lesson".

“When I got to the station, I went straight to the cells and peeped through the window. I found the girl sobbing, while lying facing up. I thought she had been given some corporal punishment,” said the mother.

The girl disclosed that an officer had taken her to his house, defiled her repeatedly before returning her to the cells in the wee hours of the morning.

Connived with hospital

The mother demanded that the girl be taken to the hospital immediately, but she claimed police officers connived with a private hospital in the neighbouring Vihiga County, where a report was doctored to show there was no defilement.

The parents disputed the report, forcing top county police officers to intervene and ask that the girl be taken to a public hospital.

The officers at Ratta station refused, a move that saw the girl spend a second night in the cells.

Yesterday, the parents stormed the station, forcing the police to accompany them to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital for examination.

At the hospital, the parents revealed that the suspected defiler was among the officers who had dropped her off.

“In normal instances, any patient brought by police must have specific handing over procedures. We were appalled when the officers declined to disclose their identities and circumstances under which they brought the patient,” said a health officer who received the girl at the hospital.

Yesterday, Dr Okoth said DNA tests on the suspect would need to be done to establish the truth.

County Police Commander Renson Lolmodol said the alleged defilement was reported at Ratta police station. He, however, said tests conducted by the private hospital in Vihiga had shown there had been no defilement.