No Case Against Keita

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Grand Gedeh County District#2 Rep. Morais Waylee at the center of the alleged rape of a 13-year old child

Lawmaker backs off

By Abednego Davis

The Monrovia City Court yesterday dropped criminal coercion charges brought against child rights activist Abraham M. Keita by Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative Morais Waylee.

Keita was charged with criminal coercion after Rep. Waylee claimed the child rights advocate organized a protest at the Capitol Building where he called on lawmakers to have Waylee investigated on allegations that he raped and impregnated a 13-year old girl.
Waylee had earlier sworn that he would pursue the criminal coercion case to prove his innocence.

Criminal coercion involves making threats or using force with the purpose of unlawfully restricting someone else’s freedom to engage in or refrain from engaging in a certain act.
Meanwhile, dismissing Waylee’s criminal coercion lawsuit, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody said the lawmaker admitted that he was finding it difficult to prove his case against the child rights activist, and declared it “nolle prosequi” in Keita’s favor.

“The statement is an admission that the charges cannot be proven. Because of this, we are discharging defendant Keita from further answering to the charges,” Peabody declared yesterday, and issued a Clerk Certificate to Keita declaring his innocence.

“Nolle prosequi” means “we shall no longer prosecute,” which is a declaration made to a judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case (or by a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit) either before or during trial, meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped.

“This was not because of any lack of effort on the side of the prosecutors in developing a case against Keita, but there was no physical evidence from Waylee’s testimony for us to pursue the lawsuit against the child rights activist,” said a state lawyer.

By law, the prosecution of criminal cases falls in the purview of the government, of which criminal coercion is no exception.

It can be recalled that at a press conference, Keita challenged Rep. Waylee to prove his allegation against him, because he (Keita) had “done nothing wrong.”

“What I find unfathomable and unthinkable is the charge of criminal coercion against me for calling for his recusal, arrest and investigation of rape allegations,” Keita said in a press release.

“If the lawmaker thinks and feels that a lawsuit will stop or intimidate me from standing up and speaking out for the rights of women and girls and against rape, he is wrong,” he said, while vowing to fight injustices.

“I will continue to be a voice for justice and to champion the rule of law…the lawmaker will not be allowed to use the justice system or our courts to frighten me and other advocates.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. As a member of the legislature, Hon. Morais Waylee should’ve simply undergone a DNA paternity test to prove (INNOCENCE) that the baby is not his; after all, the girl is a minor so consent can’t be defense. That failure lends credence to the perception of guilt. Wrongfully or rightfully, it suggests that was he not an important personality the lawsuit would’ve been thrown out as frivolous long time ago.

    Frankly, how ironic that a lawmaker suspected of sexually molesting a kid sued someone seeking justice for his helpless victim. A rule of law democratic Liberia must do better, the knuckle – headed actions of few VIP only deepen public distrust. And to think that in the wider scheme of governance, these isolated bullying incidents at the hands of officials are inconsequential is delusional: they fuel public anger.

    “Nor mind”, Abraham Keita, “small humbugs come with advocacy, and are preparation for the bigger humbugs veterans like Albert Porte experienced; or, most importantly, they make you review the decision to get deep into this type of selfless dangerous service to society”. Anyway, whatever you decide, we’re all better that a young Liberian is having huge impacts on the lives of vulnerable strangers he didn’t even know. Congrats!

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