BY: LAYMAH KOLLIE
MONROVIA: Criminal Court E in Monrovia recently granted a bail bond for the release of Tony Fasasi, who was accused of raping an 18yr. old girl.
The girl had gone at the African Methodist Episcopal University to challenge her entrance results when Tony allegedly sexually abused her.
Tony is an entrance examiner at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) on Camp Johnson Road in Monrovia.
Both State Prosecutors and Tony’s Lawyers including the Ministry of Justice SGBV crimes unit have requested an Freedom of Information (FOI) to release details surrounding the bail bond.
Though Chapter 13.1 of the Criminal Procedure Law indicating ‘Right to Bail/Capital Offenses’ states ‘a person in custody for the commission of a capital offense shall, before conviction, be entitled as of right to be admitted to bail unless the proof is evident or the presumption great that he is guilty of the offense” but Section 14.70a of the Rape Law is in contraction. It states that Rape is a felony of the first degree if the Survivor is 18yrs and below and this is punishable by life imprisonment. Section c provides that Rape is a second degree felony and punishable by 10yrs imprisonment if the Survivor is not below 18 yrs; ‘b’ of that section states that the purpose of bail shall be treated as per the Capital Offenses under section 13.1.1: Capital Offenses of the Criminal Procedure Law.
Tony is yet to be indicted by the State though he has been in jail for almost 90 days.
Atty. Gerald Asseed of the Sexual and Gender Base Violence Crimes Unit asserted though Tony has been granted bail; the court will in the soonest possible time issue an indictment against him while pending court trail.
The AMEU Entrance Examiner Tony was on tenth March 2022 invited by the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberian National Police on allegation of raping an eighteen year old girl whom had gone to sit entrance at the University.
Tony Fasasi admitted before police investigators of having a consexual intercourse with the survivor and not rape as reported.
On Monday, March 21,2022, he was forwarded to the Monrovia City Court on charge of rape and later incarcerated at the Monrovia Central prison awaiting court trial. Defendant Fasasi was charged with violating Chapter 14 subchapter D section 14.70 (a)(I) of the New rape law of Liberia.
Lawyers representing Tony filed a motion for bail which was granted by the Court.
Advocates and Activists recently described the Court’s action as effortless towards the fight of rape and Sexual Gender Based Violence in the Country.
The Activists indicated that the rape law is clear that rape is non-bailable especially relating to 18yrs and below. As provided in section 14.70 a, of the Rape Law, Rape is a Felony of the First Degree and punishable by life imprisonment if the Survivor is below 18yrs.
Rape and other SBGV cases rapidly increased since the coronavirus outbreak in Liberia especially during the country’s emergency lockdown in 2020.
Government continues to mount efforts in ensuring the Survivors are protected and Justice is served through a SGBV taskforce at the Ministry of Gender for rapid report and response to cases.