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20.08.2004 Crime & Punishment

Fetish priest jailed 20 years for defilement

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Kumasi, Aug 20, GNA - There was prolonged laughter at the Circuit Court at Kumasi last Tuesday, when a 32-year-old fetish priest told the Court that he was ordered by the gods to marry a 15-year-old girl he defiled.

Yaw Asenso alias Ashaikro, the fetish priest from Prenyase near Jachie, whose plea was not taken, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour.

Chief Inspector Agnes Dinkyiri told the Court that Madam Ellen Dzikunu, the victim's mother rented a room in the house of Asenso at Prenyase about four months ago.

She said Madam Dzikunu's elder daughter started behaving strangely and the accused promised to cure her of the infirmity and succeeded in calming her down after giving her some herbal preparation.

Chief Inspector Dinkyiri said Asenso requested Madam Dzikunu to invite her other daughter who was in Accra to come for healing since some spirits that could kill her shortly were hunting her.

She said on July 5, this year, the girl arrived at Prenyase and Asenso asked Madam Dzikunu to buy some items to be used for rituals and also asked the girl to spend the night in his room for the ceremony to be performed at midnight.

The prosecutor said the accused had sex with the girl that night and she reported her ordeal to her mother who did not believe the story. Chief Inspector Dinkyiri said Asenso continued to have sex with the girl each time she went for the rituals.

The prosecutor said upon rumours that the fetish priest was sexually harassing the girl, two teachers at Feyiase, Mr Mfum Sadik and Mr Eric Kumafo reported the matter to the Police, at Jachie. During interrogation, Asenso confessed having sex with the victim. When the presiding judge, Mr Essel Mensah asked the accused why he committed the crime, he said he acted upon the request of the god to marry the girl to prevent the evil spirits from killing her.

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