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Kenya Rapists Jailed after Initial Light Penalty Sparked Protest

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Arrested BellaNaija

A Kenyan court sentenced three men to 15 years in jail on Monday for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2013, after protests erupted following a light penalty.

The police had initially made the convicts to cut grass, an action that enraged the public.

The court heard that the girl, known as “Liz’’, an alias to protect her identity, was raped as she returned home from her grandfather’s funeral in western Kenya.

She was dumped in an open sewer and suffered back injuries.

The case sparked an international online petition that drew over 1.7 million signatures from people demanding justice.

Rape is rarely reported in the east African nation due to stigma and lack of faith in the justice system, although there are strong laws against sexual assault.

The prosecutor, Jecinta Nyamosi told newsmen that the three men, whose trial began in 2014, were convicted by a court in the western county of Busia.

He said that they were sentenced to 15 years for gang rape and seven years for causing grievous harm, to be served concurrently.

“Liz has finally gotten justice and her case will hopefully continue to be a wake-up call for all. We must continue to push for safe environments for girls; where sexual violence is not tolerated and is punished to the fullest extent of the law,’’ Nyamosi said.

Hundreds of people had marched to the office of the head of the police in Nairobi to demand justice.

The protesters hung underwear on the gate to the police office and held placards saying: “Slashing grass is not a punishment for rape.’’

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