— But the university has yet to respond to the latest development
The Monrovia City Court has jailed the African Methodist Episcopal University’s entrance examiner who admitted to having sex with his alleged victim but denies ever raping her.
The accused, Tony Fasasi, who has also been suspended from his position as Acting Director for Entrance Examination at the AME University (AMEU), is being charged with the commission of the “rape in violation of Chapter 14, Subchapter D, Section 14.70(a)(i) of the New Rape Law of Liberia, pending trial by a Court of Competent jurisdiction.”
He was arraigned in court yesterday and later sent to the Monrovia Central Prison as he awaits his trial. Medical reports, according to the police, showed that the victim was sexually abused. The police added that the defendant, during interrogation, admitted to having sex with the victim but denied forcing her — persistent about his claims of consensual sex.
The police charge sheet, according to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), reveals that the victim, 18, was abused sexually by Fasasi in his office after she had taken an entrance exam. As per the police report, the Victim narrated that she did not pass the entrance exam, which she sat for but the defendant told her to wait and complete the last question that she did not answer.
The victim then waited, and after a while did the last question of the test but upon completion of the test, she was told by the defendant that she failed along with her friend. Quoting the police report, LINA said, the defendants then asked the victim to wait in his office and when he later returned, he asked for sex, something she refused.
The police charge sheet pointed out that after the conversation between them, the victim decided to leave the office, during which time the defendant locked his office door, jumped on her, pulled off her clothes, and began to sexually abuse her.
Meanwhile, the victim’s claims on the police report about when she failed the entrance examination, appear to contradict to her earlier claims that she had gone to the defendant’s office as a result of her quest to challenge her entrance result, suggesting that she already been informed that she failed the exam before proceeding to Fasasi’s office to challenge it.
The victim, whose identity is being protected, claimed that she entered Tony's office along with another prospective undergraduate who followed her to challenge the test result and, after a while, the attendant friend was told to leave and that she passed the entrance test.
“I told him since this is the case, I’ll get my father to take it up with the University Administration. As soon as I turned to leave the office, he held me from the back, we tussled and his strength overpowered me and raped me,” the victim alleged in a complaint, as quoted by Women’s TV, an online media platform.
“We were two students that he told we failed the test. So we said ‘no, we will challenge the test [results]’. Afterward, he told the other girl to leave because she passed, [but] asked why I keep failing.”
However, the circumstance surrounding the alleged rape as reported by the police corroborates the victim’s claims that Fasasi grabbed her from the back when she tried leaving his office and, after a few tussles, he raped her.
AMEU yet to state new position
Tony, who is now in prison at the Monrovia Center Prison, was earlier suspended by the administration of the AME University for time “indefinite” but the university has yet to release any position statement on the matter since this latest development.
The public relations department of the University declined to comment when asked about the latest position. Also, the administration of the university has provided few details about the circumstances of the alleged incident on grounds that they do not intend to render judgment in a matter that is being investigated by the Police.
The University’s statement confirmed that Tony, who is one of its employees, was invited by the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on March 10, based on a complaint of alleged rape filed by a female seeking enrollment at the University.
“Due to the University’s Zero Tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, coupled with our desire to ensure a fair and transparent investigation, the administration has suspended the accused employee indefinitely until the investigation is complete,” the statement said. “The Administration assures the public of our ZERO TOLERANCE on any act of sexual violence and abuse as we conduct our core responsibilities of developing the future leaders of Liberia.”
The AME University (AMEU) is a private tertiary institution located in Monrovia, Liberia with an average enrollment of about 5,000 students.
AMEU was organized in 1995 by Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr., and leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, during his administration as presiding prelate. Bryant Theological Seminary was the first component school of the university. Bryant Theological Seminary had been started in 1992 by David R. Daniels, Jr., now a bishop in the church. The university was then chartered in February 1996.