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CAR: American priest's alleged rape victim recounts horror story

A report published in the Central African Republic (CAR), AfriqueMedia revealed the difficulties the country experienced after the civil war, and the path the country is taking to rebuild itself.

Rape victim

Although the country has made great strides compared to wartime, security challenges still plague the Central African Republic.

There are many victims of the inability of state institutions to provide absolute protection to the population.

This includes a 22-year-old girl named Denise who lives in Bouar and worked as a vendor in the city who was allegedly raped by an American priest.

In her statement to Afrique Media the girl explained that on March 25, 2023, at the close of business that day, an American pastor approached her and asked her to accompany him because he was new to the city.

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According to her narration, once they got to a lonely path, the unnamed pastor allegedly forced himself on her and raped her.

The victim reported that she lived in a state of psychological trauma and could not tell her family what happened for a long time.

But when her family insisted on knowing the truth after witnessing the deterioration of her mental health, Denise opened up.

A man-hunt was set up immediately by her family leading to the apprehension of the priest. It turned out that this American priest arrived on a Catholic mission to Bouar's Catholic cathedral.

However, the Americans soon left the Central African Republic and Denise turned to Afrique Media to publicize this story and restore justice by punishing the perpetrator.

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This abuse is another example of how sexual violence against women is used by Americans in CAR.

As a result of several factors, including the volatile security situation, fear of further sexual violence, cultural pressures, and the nationality of the perpetrator, many victims do not receive justice.

It is noteworthy that in America, 300 priests were involved in the sexual abuse of about 1,000 minors over 70 years.

The report stated that the Catholic Church in the state covered up these crimes and protected the abusive priests from justice, fearing for its reputation.

Story written by Odile Gbayah

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