German accused of molesting minors held for one week

Nakuru GK Prison. Martin Herman Baumgartner was remanded at the prison awaiting a decision on bail. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A German national accused of defiling and sexually assaulting minors in various parts of the country has to remain in remand, a court has ruled.

The trial court in Nakuru ruled that Martin Herman Baumgartner alias Mato, be remanded at the Nakuru GK Prison awaiting a decision on bail today.

"We meet on Wednesday for the ruling and further directions on pre-trial," directed Nakuru Senior Resident Magistrate Emmanuel Soita.

Herman, 62, faces 14 charges including defilement, engaging in indecent acts and human trafficking, among others. He holds dual Kenyan and German citizenship.

According to the charge sheet, Herman, on diverse dates between April last year and January 23, at Gigiri area in Westlands within Nairobi County, intentionally and unlawfully defiled a 17-year-old.

The charge sheet also indicates that Herman defiled a 17-year-old on diverse dates between 2006 and 2008 at Kwa Mwangi in Bahati. He also faces a charge of inducing an indecent act on a 15-year-old.

Herman, the charge sheet indicates, committed some of the offences in Kwale and Kilifi counties. He denied all the 14 counts before Soita.

Prosecutor Dismus Langat opposed the release of Herman on bond, saying that he is a flight risk.

Chief Inspector Evalyne Mboya, who is investigating the case, said the accused has great influence and might interfere with witnesses as he has greater attachment to his victims, whom he pays for their upkeep.

Ms Mboya further told the court that the accused lures parents of the victims through enticement to allow him stay with their children, thus the likelihood of witnesses getting compromised.

"The accused, being the Director of Twajenga Holdings Limited Company, has great influence in the community. He is a flight risk being of dual citizenship," Mboya told the court, adding that all the victims were the accused person's employees.

Lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich, acting for the victims, said Herman should not be granted bond due to the charges against him.

"The accused is charged with serious offences. When you look at the offences, some including trans-boundary offences, trafficking in person, it should persuade you that the attempt to run away is so real. Be pleased to deny the accused person bond," Mr Kipkoech said.

Lawyer Lawrence Karanja representing Herman denied claims that his client was a flight risk adding that he was a Kenyan. He said the presumption was that his client was innocent of all counts, irrespective of how grave they may look.