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Qur’anic teacher changes plea after initially pleading guilty to rape

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By Amadou Jadama

A Qur’anic teacher from Brikam, Alasana Bah, who on Monday pleaded guilty to raping his 13-year-old student, has now changed his plea to not guilty.

When the case was called yesterday, police prosecuting officer Cpl 4906 Bangura explained that the alleged incident happened on 15 February when one of his students walked into Brikama police station with her mother to lodge a complaint against him.

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The policeman said the accusation is that Bah had on several occasions engaged the young girl in sexual intercourse.  Bangura said the accused was then invited to the station where he confirmed everything. He said the police went ahead to take both the cautionary and voluntary statements from the parties concerned, and the victim escorted to Brikama health centre where she was examined.

“The police visited the crime scene and took photos,” he said.

The medical certificate, dated 15 February and photos, cautionary and voluntary statements, were tendered in court.

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After the prosecutor presented the facts, the accused person told the court that since it was his first time he ever in a court, he was scared and pleaded guilty but what has been said is not how it happened.

He has since denied the charge and the court entered a plea of not guilty. Prosecutor Bangura applied for an adjournment to enable him to call witnesses.

The accused was then granted bail in the sum of D100,000 with two Gambian sureties and the case adjourned to 26 March.

The case is before Magistrate Fatoumata Darboe of the Brikama court.

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