Former top DCI officer gets 30 years for rape

Former Embu North DCIO Jervasio Njeru when he appeared in court on June 3, 2020 on charges of rape. [File, Standard]

The High Court has slapped a senior Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officer with 30 years’ imprisonment for raping a suspect inside his office.

Justice Lucy Njuguna ordered Jervasio Mwaniki Njeru to cool his heels behind bars for 20 years as punishment for rape and another 10 years for abuse of power.

“To me, the respondent lured her into his office and took advantage of the complainant, knowing that she was subordinate to him and that she wouldn’t report the matter,” said Justice Njuguna.

Njeru was charged with rape, committing an indecent act and abuse of office.

The prosecution argued that on May 31, 2020, he lured JN to his office at the Manyatta Police Station in Embu and violated her.

In her testimony, JN said that she was called by Simon Kitheka, a policeman, to go to the station over Sh200,000 that she received from her husband to open a business.

According to JN, her sister-in-law fueled a disagreement between the couple and the police arrested her for money she allegedly owed him.

She told the court that she was kept in custody for several days before Njeru ordered her release on free bond.

During her release, she was sent to a different building for bond processing and Njeru raped her in his office before letting her go.

She reported the matter at the same station.

Police Constable Fatuma Abdalla said that on that day, JN asked her to accompany her to get her belongings. When they were outside the station, she narrated her ordeal.

While she was talking to JN, Njeru is said to have driven past in his vehicle and JN asked for a place to hide.

Abdalla referred the case to the deputy Officer Commanding Station and Njeru apologised to the victim. He offered to pay for her treatment as long as she lied that she had been raped by a stranger.

Abdalla later escorted JN to Embu Level 5 hospital where she was interviewed by several officers.

Another officer, Pogisho Kuai, said that he reported for the evening shift on that day and that another officer identified as Corporal Yegon went to the holding cell where he called a detainee.

Kuai said that even though there were other detainees in the cell, JN is the only one who came out.

He said that after about 50 minutes, JN came back to collect her belongings while crying.

He testified that Njeru came back and asked for the Occurrence Book (OB) which he perused before leaving.

Kitheka said that he found two officers with a man and a woman. The two claimed that a fishmonger had conned the man of Sh200,000.

He said that he called JN and asked her to come to the office the following day for questioning.

Kitheka said that after meeting, it appeared that she had an affair with the man who had complained of being conned.

Emily Naguya, the Embu North sub-County Police Commander, said that she was informed of the incident and that she went to the station and called Njeru and other senior officers.

When they opened the DCI office, they found inner wear, used tissue paper in the dustbin, and two empty sacks. During cross-examination, Naguya said that Njeru asked JN to forgive him.

Embu West Deputy DCIO Sarah Muthoni said that she visited the said office and found inner wear under the table.

She contacted crime scene officers who processed the scene and then recovered JN’s clothes for forensic examination.

Pamela Khamala, a government analyst, said that she received samples obtained from JN’s body, clothes, the used tissue paper and sacks found at the scene, and sample swabs from Njeru.

Her findings were that some of the samples contained semen which matched Njeru’s DNA.

Corporal Jackson Kiprotich, who was tasked with releasing JN, said he found JN and Njeru having a conversation in his office, and he prepared the paperwork for her release.

He said that JN was released at 4pm but at around 5pm he found her and Njeru having a conversation, but he could not tell what they were talking about.

Dr Phyllis Muhonja, who examined JN, said that during the interview she did not say that there was a struggle between her and Njeru but the injuries sustained indicated that she had been raped.