Post by: Lorri Ann Drazan
My name is Lorri Ann and I am serving as a legal fellow for the Center for Global Justice working for International Justice Mission in Kampala, Uganda. International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 11 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people who are poor. IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems. Learn more at IJM.org.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with the Kampala program office on cases of violence against women and children. Below is a story of one of those cases.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Fellow. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.
Ugandan Teacher Will Stand Trial in High Court for Sexual Abuse of Students
Arrested April 2019 – committed for trial September 2019
In April, IJM supported police to arrest a man who had been using his position as the headmaster of a school to sexually abuse the young boys in his care.
Michael,* the headmaster of a boarding school, preyed upon families in poverty, promising to find foreign sponsors to pay for their boys’ tuition. Many of these boys leapt at the opportunity to receive an education they would not have been able to afford otherwise.
After the boys had settled into their new school, the abuse began. Michael would stay in the dormitory with the boys at night, using threats or force to molest and rape them.
Elijah,* an 11-year-old boy at the school, eventually chose to hide in the bushes behind the school for three nights rather than continue to endure the abuse. On the third night he was rescued by two teachers who found him and helped him report the abuse to an organization that called IJM Uganda for help on the case.
“I felt good,” Elijah said, about his feelings when he learned that Michael was arrested. “Because I knew in my head that that man would never come back.”
A five-month investigation followed the arrest, conducted by the Uganda Police in collaboration with IJM Uganda attorneys and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). During the investigation, five more victims came forward, clearly implicating Michael in the aggravated rape and trafficking of six boys aged ten to fifteen.
In September, a magistrate in Uganda committed 35-year-old Michael to the International Crimes Division of the High Court for trial.
The six boys who were rescued from the school are receiving care and psychosocial support from IJM and partners.