Ghanaian mathematics teacher jailed 15 years for raping student

A Tamale High Court has sentenced a 34-year old mathematics teacher at Sawla Senior High School in the Savannah Region, Ernest Ocloo, to 15 years of imprisonment after finding him guilty of raping one of his students.

jail (GuardianNG)

The sexual assault occurred in 2019, and the case had since been on trial until Tuesday, May 17, when the court gave its ruling.

Although the teacher pleaded not guilty to the offense, a 7-member jury, after reviewing pieces of evidence that were made available to the court, returned a unanimous verdict of guilt, hence his sentencing.

Citinewsroom.com reports the Principal State Attorney, Salia Abdul-Quddus, as saying that the convict had earlier admitted to the offense in his own written investigation caution statement, but changed it to not guilty during the trial process.

A police fact sheet on the case reads: "On November 12, 2019, the complainant was in their dormitory when the suspect sent one of the female students to call her to see him in their staff common room. The complainant obliged and when she got to the staff common roof, the suspect seated in a sofa and asked her to join him for some discussion. Just then, the suspect offered her yoghurt and shito which she denied. The suspect then started making love advances towards her but the complainant refused. As she started walking away, the suspect went and locked the door, gripped her and put her on the ground and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her. After the act, the complainant started feeling abdominal pains. The suspect then called the complainant’s school mother to come for her. The school mother and another witness went for the complainant to their dormitory but she fell unconscious and she was rushed to Sawla polyclinic where she was treated and discharged. The complainant reported the matter to police and suspect was subsequently arrested."

Ocloo was later arraigned at the Sawla district court and charged with rape, leading to his eventual conviction and sentencing.

Meanwhile, before the court could reach a decision, the Ghana Education Service had issued a letter in February 2020 to terminate the teacher’s appointment.

He had been subjected to an enquiry by the service during which he allegedly admitted guilt.

The letter, signed by the Director-General, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, reads: "Mr. Ernest Ocloo is in the habit of sexually harassing female students in the school. In my recent practice and precedent, such misconduct is punishable with the termination of appointment, management, therefore, I recommend that the appointment of Mr. Ernest Ocloo should be terminated in line with section 63(iii)(b)(vi) page 86 as contained in the code of conduct for teachers and other workers of the Ghana Education Service."

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