A Kumasi Circuit Court has sentenced a 20-year-old man seven years imprisonment for defilement captured in a viral ‘gang rape’ video in a Bantama suburb in the Ashanti region.
Ernest Asare, sentenced to prison with hard labour, is the oldest of five actors arrested in December 2017 after a video of a teen being gang-raped went viral on social media.
The other actors who are minors and students in junior and senior high schools have been referred to a District Court for sentencing.
All of the actors were all found guilty of conspiracy to commit defilement.
The fifth convict was found guilty of an additional charge of aiding and abetting for filming the incident which later went viral on social media.
The five were arrested in January this year by the police after they allegedly had non-consensual sexual intercourse with a girl believed to be under-age.
The video of the incident that went viral on social media, showed the teenage girl pinned down on a mattress by one of her abusers while his accomplices took turns to sexually abuse her.
An assemblyman in the area caused the arrest after the video stirred up on social media.
It was believed that the suspects were all minors hence the decision of state prosecutors to pursue the case in a juvenile court and in-camera.
However, few days after the shocking incident, the Asokwa Juvenile Court where the case was being heard struck it out.
The case was transferred to the Kumasi Circuit Court based on new evidence that one of the suspects is not a minor.
Joy News’ Ohemeng Tawiah reported that the state attorney quoted a law indicating that when minors commit a crime with adults, they will be tried in open court.
Non-governmental organization American Relief Center took interest in the case and offered assistance to the police. It paid for the police medical examination, transportation and an age assessment for some of the accused.
Five months after the incident, a court judgment has left the convicts and their parents grieving as their fate was determined.