JHR story exposes child rape case and a family gets justice

Theophilus and Rebecca Tokpah grieving their 13-year old daughter Caroline, who died from shock and sepsis after being raped by a neighbor

In March, 2012, a team of three Liberian journalists, Oniel Bestman, Saye Messah, Mondeyesco Tulorgbo and JHR-trainer Bonnie Allen traveled to the Firestone Rubber Plantation to investigate the case of Caroline Tokpah, a 13-year old girl who died from shock and sepsis after being allegedly raped by a neighbor. The parents had reported the case to police ten months earlier but had not received any information from police or the court. When the journalists checked at the courthouse in Kakata, the court officers could not locate the case file and there was no scheduled trial. The journalists contacted the Chief Prosecutor of the Sex Crimes Unit in Monrovia and reported the story on Truth FM, Lux Fm, and in The National Chronicle. Following the story going public the journalists received feedback from NGO’s and lawyers who expressed concern. The media exposure and intervention by NGOs helped to push the case forward. In June 2012, Caroline’s rapist was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

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