One more suspect arrested in Bantama gang rape case

One more person has been arrested for his involvement in the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl at Bantama in the Ashanti Region.

Three suspects were initially arrested and are facing a Juvenile court after a video, which allegedly showed them and four others, sexually assaulting a girl, went viral, and was met with widespread criticism from the Ghanaian public. The Police confirmed the three arrests, stating that the suspects are Junior High School and Senior High School students, but refused to reveal their ages.

Lawyer for the suspects, John Boamah, revealed toCiti News, that a fourth person had been detained by the police in connection with the incident.

“Someone else has also been arrested and that person is also duly represented, he has legal representation.”

He also confirmed that the four suspects had been taken back into police custody after making an appearance before the Juvenile Court, which was held in-camera, and will reappear on January 17.

“The whole fact of the matter is that, as it is in the domain of the media, that the police needed time for further investigations. Nothing much happened today. The juveniles have been taken back to the Juvenile cells to come back next week. We are waiting for the prosecution, whatever information they have for us. The media houses are saying that there is an alleged rape, the police might also think otherwise so let’s wait,” he said.

‘Flog suspects’

The Member of Parliament for Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Patricia Appiagyei, sparked a public debate when she called for the three boys arrested in connection with the alleged assault to be flogged publicly as punishment.

She believes that sentencing the boys to serve time in jail would not rehabilitate them, adding that the humiliation that comes with being publicly caned would deter others better than a prison term.

“I don’t think prison will change them. It even hardens them because we don’t have the kind of atmosphere where people can really reflect, and then show remorse for what they have done…but when you are publicly punished I believe that will make you better…I believe [flogging] them will help,” the MP is quoted as having said by Accra-based Starr FM.

The legislator also said the suspects must have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol to have committed the alleged assault.

She blamed a lack of “parental care” for the boys’ alleged actions, suggesting that they should have been advised against certain activities and influences.

“The things that could have urged the young ones to indulge in this kind of sodomy as I call it, is either they were under the influence of alcohol or were on drugs,” she added.

“But like I said, they are showing their wild edge, they have started having feelings and therefore were examining their feelings and directed it [there] because they don’t have the right parental care to tell them that there are certain things that we don’t do in our society.”

Care for the victim

Citi News sources say the victim is currently at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital undergoing a medical examination.

ASP Juliana Obeng said the victim is cooperating with the Police in its investigation into the matter.

Three other alleged accomplices in the act are still at large.