PLEEBO, Maryland – Police in Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District have arrested a 30-year-old teacher of the Pleebo Zone #5 Elementary School for allegedly raping a six-year-old student under his care.
Annie Sieh, the victim’s mother, told reporters that Joseph Chea had committed the act during the school’s recess period on May 7, 2021. She explained that Chea had taken the minor to a home behind the campus, where he held his hand over her mouth while he raped her. Sieh said her daughter tried to fight off the attack unsuccessfully – Chea succeeded in anally raping the child.
Sieh said she first detected something was wrong with her daughter when she realized the girl had lost appetite due to the severe pain she was experiencing in her anus. On the following day after the incident, she added that her daughter had to be rushed to the Pleebo Health Center as she was defecating on herself. There, health workers established that the girl had been penetrated in the anus.
Sieh said she promptly involved the police once her daughter accused Chea of being responsible for the rape.
Her daughter was since transferred to the J.J. Dossen Memorial Referral Hospital in Harper for treatment. However, three staff workers who spoke with The Bush Chicken warned that the child’s injuries were severe and needed advanced treatment.
One health worker who spoke only on condition of anonymity said, “That child has been damaged, but something can be done to save her life, and I believe that cannot be done here in Maryland.”
“If people do not come to help me with my daughter, I am scared that she will not survive,” Sieh reinforced that assessment. “We been here since the second day of the incident, and some doctors have warned me to do all I can to take my daughter to Monrovia or Ghana for better treatment.”
Chea has been charged with statutory rape, and he has since been sent to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Harper because the case is beyond the trial jurisdiction of the magisterial court in Pleebo. Meanwhile, he has denied all allegations.
Local activist Richlue Morlue called on prosecutors to prosecute the case swiftly. The executive director of Peace Liberia said Maryland schools need more awareness on rapes. He also said the establishment of health clubs in all schools would reduce the alarming rate of rapes in the county.
“More awareness will drastically reduce rapes and other forms of violence against women and girls,” Morlu said.
He urged school administrations to include sex education in their teachings.
Featured photo by Patrick N. Mensah