October 30, 2015
Last week Tuesday a frightened 15-year old called one of her government lawyers to say that she and her mother were following the man who had raped her last month through the winding streets of her neighborhood. The girl lost him as he went down an alley, but the news quickly spread to the investigative police, and the Association for a More Just Society investigator working on the case, who set up a surveillance operation in the neighborhood. On Wednesday afternoon police and the AJS investigator arrested the alleged rapist as he left his home.
This brave 15-year-old was not the only survivor in this case, the suspect is accused of raping approximately 25 girls in the last year, continually evading arrest. In October of 2011, the investigative police and lawyers working on the case became frustrated with the AJS Rescue team. The officials knew that the team provides investigative, legal, and psychological support to minors who survive sexual abuse, and they needed help. They did not have the cars and staff to do the kind of intensive investigations necessary to catch the suspect. Since then, AJS investigator Fernando has helped to organize interviews with survivors and possible witnesses, surveillance of abandoned houses where the rapist operated, and interrogations of possible suspects.
After the arrest, the police searched his house and found clothing that many of the survivors said he was wearing during the rape, and when the first ten survivors were summoned to recognize him Fernando says, “They all agreed 100% that it was him.”
Fernando adds, “The night after we arrested him, I couldn’t sleep, maybe because of all the pressure. We got so tired of hearing, ‘There’s a new victim’. It’s really important to know that we’ve arrested the correct individual and that he can’t do any more harm.”
The Rescue lawyer, Cristian, will now work with government lawyers to bring charges in the case, and the psychologist, Ada, will work with the survivors, she says she hopes to help them “Go back to living a normal life.”
Fernando summarizes the feeling of the whole team, “Thank you for your support, and prayers!”
Please continue to pray for the survivors, their families, and the legal process.