Story: Kwame Asare Boadu
THE wrath of the law yesterday descended heavily on the now infamous Kumasi gymnasium instructor when a Kumasi Circuit Court sentenced him to a 30-year jail term for raping a 19-year-old young woman in the full glare of onlookers at Asafo in Kumasi and robbing her of GH¢30.
After convicting him of rape, the Presiding Judge, Mr Adjei Frimpong, described the convict, Eric Bawuah, as “a beast who is a complete stigma to society”.
“The fact that the accused did it in public puts him as someone without honour,” the judge further declared.
Bawuah was sentenced to 25 years for rape and 30 years for robbery to run concurrently.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and robbery, alleging that the woman was a prostitute who consented to the sexual act.
Handing down the sentence, Mr Frimpong told Bawuah that “assuming without admitting that she was a prostitute, does that give you the right to rape her”?, adding that prostitutes also have their rights.
The irony of it all is that by the end of his jail term, Bawuah, who is now 30, would have attained the retiring age of 60 if he were in the public service.
The incident happened on July 30, 2009, when the woman arrived at the Asafo Neoplan Station in Kumasi at dawn to board a bus to Accra.
Reading out his judgement, which lasted for 1hour 15 minutes, Mr Adjei Frimpong quoted from legal authorities to support his decision of guilt against Bawuah.
Lawyers who had the opportunity to comment in court on the judgement described it as a masterpiece and said it was regrettable that it could not be listed in the Ghana Law Reports because a lower court delivered it.
They, however, suggested that copies of the judgement be placed at the law faculties of the universities for use by students.
The case for the prosecution as presented by Mr William Kpobi, Chief State Attorney, was that the woman visited her sister in Kumasi and was returning to Accra. Just as she got to the Neoplan Station, Bawuah held and pulled her to the other side of the road, daring any one who would come near him.
All the while, the woman was shouting, “Save me, I don’t know him,” but no one went to her rescue.
The prosecution said Bawuah forcibly stopped a taxi and ordered the driver to drive him to a nearby car-washing bay, from where he pulled the lady to a drinking spot close by. Bawuah forcibly undressed the lady, pulled a condom from his pocket and wore it.
He then sat in a chair before forcing the woman to sit on his lap as he pulled her up and down while enjoying the sexual act.
A number of young men at the drinking spot looked on as Bawuah did his own thing, because he kept warning them not to come close, else he would kill them all.
The prosecutor said after the act, Bawuah took the lady’s GH¢30 with the threat to kill her if she dared resisted. Just after Bawuah had completed the act, policemen arrived on the scene and arrested him. At that point, the lady was naked because she could not find her trousers and the police had to look for one for her to cover herself.