Court Releases Allege Rapist -Amidst Match For Justice For Rape SurvivorsBy: R. Joyclyn Wea:j.wea@newrepublicliberia.com

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Just a day after hundreds of citizens including women, children and youth staged a-three- day peaceful protest across the Country  that  wants Government’s attention to the spike in rape and other Sexual and Gender Base Violence issues in the Country, Criminal Court “E” has released an accused rapist to the public.

The Rape Court Presided over by Judge Serena Garlawolo dismissed with immediate effect the alleged rape case against Varney Jarsey, Former President of the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) based upon an application filed before that Court by Jarsey’s lawyer Cllr. Arthur Johnson over Government’s failure to prosecute his client for over four court terms.

Section 18.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law, (paraphrase), the court shall dismiss a case against an accused or defendant, if after two court terms there is no prosecution by the state.

Though this case has lasted for about three years, and the statue also calls for dismissal of cases after two court terms due to failure on the part of the state to prosecute alleged perpetrators, many see the action as untimely and undermines the strives and efforts of protesters and other rights activists who are demanding justice for survivors.

“The timing of the victory of Varney Jarsey against his rape allegation is terrible. We can’t be having a march against rape, and at the same time an alleged rapist is being freed simply because the state is delaying in prosecuting him,” Jerreydene Smith, a protester said.

Far back as April 3, 2018, Varney Jarsey was temporarily released on bail by Judge Serena Garlawolo of Criminal Court “E” for health reasons.

Judge Garlawolo’s decision to admit Jarsey to bail at the time follows ruling in a motion filed by Jarsey’s lawyer,  stating his deteriorating health status while in prison. Jarsey was further mandated by the Judge to visit the court twice a while attending to his health.

The former LINSU President was charged with statutory rape in late November 2016 after a father of a 13 year old girl had complained to police authority accusing Jarsey of abusing his daughter at his Mamba Point Residence in October 2013. Statutory rape, contravenes Section 14.70 of the 2005 Rape Law of the Republic of Liberia.

Jarsey reportedly denied the allegation, but admitted interacting with the alleged victim at his residence in Mamba Point on the date mentioned.

According to LNP charge, Jarsey was reported to have been in flight up to November 3, 2016 as to the date when the complaint was filed to the police until November 15, 2016 when he was invited by then Inspector General Gregory Coleman for interrogation.

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About Post Author

New Republic Feature Writer

Alphonso has  been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.
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