Kenyan activist seeks FBI intervention in alleged case against US paedophile
USA-based Kenyan activist Ms Margaret Ruto has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to investigate the activities of suspected pedophile American national Terry Ray Kriegger.
Paedophilia is a disorder characterized by recurrent intense arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviours involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child.
Kriegger, alias Baby Toddler 123, who was in unclear circumstances silently released from a Kamiti Maximum Prison, leading to a public outcry, was charged in court on November 27 on six counts for which he pleaded not guilty.
It is because he had not fully served his 50-year jail term at the Kamiti Maximum Prison and somehow managed to get out of court in a case that put retired Justice J.M Bwonong’a on the spot, and later, he committed a similar mistake.
In his judgment issued in 2022, Justice Bwonwong’a said that the suspect had served eight years and ordered that he be released.
“In these circumstances, this court finds that to order a re-trial of the appellant would not only be unfair but oppressive as well,” ruled Justice Bwonwong’a as he set the suspect free.
Court documents in our possession reveal that Mr Kriegger, on a date between November 6 and November 8, 2023, while at his residence in Great Wall Gardens Estate Phase Three, allegedly defiled a 3-year-old girl. In addition, he was found to be in the country illegally.
When he was taken to Athi River Police Station, he refused to have his fingerprints taken, which is against the National Police Service Act 2011.
Ms Ruto, on Thursday, November 23, 2023, reached out to the FBI asking that they take up the matter so that he could be jailed in the United States of America (USA) and not Kenya as he had in the first instance managed to get his way out of prison.
“It is time that the FBI takes up the matter and have this suspect deported back to the USA where he will face the law,” Ms Ruto said.
According to Ms Ruto, who played a critical role in a similar case that saw another pedophile identified as Gregory Dow jailed in the USA after evading justice in Kenya, the only place the victims of Kriegger would get justice was in the USA.
Ms Ruto said that the Kenyan Judicial system had clearly failed in the first instance and that she lacked trust that this time round the victim of the suspect will get the required justice.
“If he had not been released from prison in the first instance then he would not have managed to sexually abuse another minor. For this reason, we told the FBI about his case and we hope they will take over the matter,” she said.
The activist now says that the USA government should have made more comprehensive efforts to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies, especially for people who have a history of committing crimes against minors.
She said that the failure to oversee and manage repeat offenders had become a conspicuous shortcoming that left many minors exposed to the hands of such suspected pedophiles.
“The first release of the suspect not only underscores the inadequacies in the legal system but also magnifies grave concerns about the safety of communities, both locally and internationally. It amplifies the imperative for more stringent measures to ensure that repeat offenders, particularly those targeting vulnerable populations, are not released back into society without rigorous precautions and vigilant supervision,” she said.
Cases linked to pedophiles are on the increase here in Kenya to the extent that they caught the attention of Chief Justice Martha Koome, who in June launched an electronic register that will permanently capture the data of convicted sexual offenders.
Speaking in Kibera at the time, Chief Justice Martha Koome said that the move to capture the data of such people was purely aimed at guiding employers and other stakeholders to shy away from such individuals.
The move was prompted by a recent survey which was conducted by the Kibera Court User Committee, which found that cases of gender-based violence and sexual offences had increased.
“It will be important to have a one-stop data portal for all sexual offenders for easy access by the justice systems and all other relevant authorities,” the CJ said during the launch of the electronic register.
According to the action plan, over the last two decades, sexual exploitation of children has worsened due to several factors, which include rural-urban migration, the breakdown of social morals and norms, increased national and international travel and tourism, and to a large extent globalisation, occasioned by the expansion of information and communication technologies and the internet.
In yet another study published by Better Care Networks and conducted by Terre des Hommes Netherlands, which is an interagency network facilitating global information exchange and collaboration on the issue of children without adequate family care it emerged that Kenya is the leading online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE).
Increased mobile phone penetration and internet access have given rise to a set of conditions that have made children more vulnerable to Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE). Online child sexual exploitation is the broad phenomenon of the use of the Internet to exploit children sexually,” the report reads in part.
The report revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had said that the internet has an estimated number of 750,000 people whose aim is to connect to children across the globe for sexual purposes online and at any moment.
It said that with such people living on the internet, it leads to a phenomenon known as live Online Child Sexual Exploitation.