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A Mombasa pastor sentenced to 35 years for defiling and infecting his 13 year old step-daughter with HIV/Aids is seeking the high court to quash the sentence.Jeremiah Gechiko Iteke who is accused of defilement between 2010 and 2011 cited unfair trial by the magistrate’s court.

“I pray the court to allow my appeal, quash the conviction and set the sentence aside pending my appeal hearing,” Iteke told the court, arguing that the trial magistrate, Senior Resident Magistrate B.M. Ekhubi handed him an excessive sentence not stipulated in law without considering his defense statement and that of his witnesses.

He was accused of forcing himself on the 13 year old step-daughter between October 2010 and July 2011 at Kongowea village in Kisauni. He was convicted on March 1 2017 and filed an appeal before Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony seeking the court to overturn the lower court’s decision as the magistrate erred in handing him the 35 year sentence.

Magistrate Ekhubi relied on the doctor’s findings which revealed evidence of forced penetration with the observation that Iteke’s defense was strewn with issues of denial and afterthoughts which could not stand when weighed against the prosecution evidence.

Iteke said that section 8(3) of the Sexual Offense Act of 2006 warrants a conviction of a minimum of 20 years for defilement of a child aged between 12 and 14 years.

Iteke caught the attention of the judge as he appeared in court all groomed up with a fresh haircut, shiny face while donning a new, clean ironed white shirt and a red tie, a new black official trouser and black shoes.

Justice Chepkwony was impressed and complimented him for his clean look.

“Wow! Are you in prison? You look smart and well groomed. The prison must be taking good care of you,” said Chepkwony.

In her testimony, the victim said “Iteke had sexual intercourse with me several times and got me pregnant twice and secured an abortion for me.”

A medical test from Coast General Hospital indicates that Iteke was HIV positive, a fact confirmed by her mother.

The girl and her little sister said that they considered Iteke as their father as he had been living with them since 2009 after he met their mother in church where he was a pastor.

The victim said Iteke would defile her on Wednesdays and Fridays when her mother had gone to church for night vigil but she was scared to report him because he threatened to kill her and her mother. The victim’s sister also termed Iteke as a violent man and they feared he would beat up their mother if they reported him.

The victim’s mother said that they had lived with Iteke with her two daughters for five years since 2009 in a one roomed house partitioned by curtains.

Iteke denied the accusations and said that the two girls were like daughters to him and that he was a pastor who would not do such a thing.

He added that trouble began after he found his wife cheating with another man on their matrimonial bed after returning from a crusade in Likoni.

“I tried to discuss with her but she was uncooperative so I slapped her and that is when she screamed and vowed to teach me a lesson. Subsequentl,y I was arrested and charged with defilement,” said Iteke, adding that on the Wednesdays and Fridays he was said to have defiled the girls he was at an all-night vigil at the church with his wife.

 The victim’s teacher told the courts that the girl performance dwindled immensely and that was when she noticed something was amiss.

The day for setting his appeal hearing date was slotted for February 5.

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