Man, 20, Jailed for Raping Girl, 14

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After denying having any sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl (name withheld), Nelson Binda, 20, was yesterday remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison by the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice, where he is expected to stay until his trial for rape can resume.

Binda was said to have held the victim at his Jallah Town Community residence for days, allegedly using her as his wife, prior to his arrest on April 26 by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

Though Binda claimed he kept his victim for her own protection, he could not escape time in jail as the crime of rape is a non-bailable offense in Liberia.

Police who investigated Binda before turning him over to the court yesterday alleged that the victim was reported missing on Sunday, April 24, after leaving her home to get her hair braided in the same community.

“She went but did not come home the same day,” police quoted the victim’s mother, Madam Kebbeh Korvah, adding, “the next day we the family members went all around looking for her, but we did not find any trace of her in the community.”

Madam Korvah alleged that after two days of searching, one of her neighbors informed them to search Binda’s home.

Madam Korvah said people in the community alleged that Binda has been in the constant habit of holding kids against their wills and subsequently treating them as though they were his wives.

Based on that speculation, the victim’s mother claimed she had some LNP officers escort her to Binda’s, where they discovered the young girl with Binda in his bedroom.

According to police, Madam Korvah said the defendant’s towel was wrapped around her missing daughter’s waist.

Binda, police said, explained that on the night of April 24 at about 11 p.m., after spending time at the Tribunal Entertainment Center, he saw the victim sitting on log in his yard.

Binda alleged that he asked the victim: “What did you come to do here?” to which he claimed she answered: “I came to wait for my boyfriend.”

Leaving the victim on the log, Binda said he went into his room. After some time, he said, he came back out only to find the girl still sitting on the log, adding that he asked her what she was doing out that time of the night.

During preliminary investigation, Binda said the victim told him she came from Red Light; which led him to conclude that the girl was either mentally ill or was a burglar.

After realizing she was neither mentally ill nor a burglar, Binda said he decided shelter the girl in his room.

According to Binda, he and his friend, named Christopher, slept on the floor to make room for the girl to sleep in his bed.

Binda said on the following day he gave the victim some money to for food and asked her to go home. He explained to police that the victim had refused to return home, until the day they were discovered in his room by her mother and LNP officers.

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