34-year-old Sawla SHS Mathematics teacher sentenced to 15 years with hard labour for rape

34-year-old Sawla SHS Mathematics teacher sentenced to 15 years with hard labour for rape

Ernest Ocloo, a 34-year-old mathematics teacher of the Sawla Senior High School in the Savannah Region has been found guilty of raping a student by the Tamale High Court and is to serve 15 years in prison with hard labour.

The convict pleaded not guilty to the offence.

According to the police fact sheet, “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 room, the suspect seated on 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 toward 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 the police and the suspect was subsequently arrested.”

He was later arraigned at the Sawla district court and charged with rape.

However, during proceedings, the accused pleaded not guilty to the crime.

 The Principal State Attorney, Salia Abdul-Quddus, explained that the convict had earlier admitted to the offence in his own written investigation caution statement.

Having travelled for over three years, the was on Tuesday, May 17, decided on by a 7-member jury which returned a unanimous verdict of guilt.

The sentence is based on pieces of evidence that were made available to the court.

In line with disciplinary measures, his employer, the Ghana Education Service issued a letter in February 2020 signed by the Director-General, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, terminating the appointment of the teacher, Ernest Ocloo for engaging in sexual misconduct with several female students of the school of which he admitted to the offence.

“Mr Ernest Ocloo is in the habit of sexually harassing female students in the school. In my recent practise and precedent, such misconduct is punishable with the termination of appointment, and 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.”

Head of Programmes and Policy at Norsaac, Hafsatu Sey Sumani, a civil society organisation in the Northern region, said they are happy with the outcome of proceedings and hope that it will deter others from engaging in such acts.

She however expressed concern about the widespread rape cases in the region with most of them often unreported.

“When we suspect that someone is committing a crime, as a community, we need to speak out, we don’t wait for somebody to become a victim. It is happening almost everywhere just that they are not reporting,” She added.

She further called on the Ghana Education Service to strengthen its systems to ensure some of these offences are curtailed.

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