Court Frees Priest Jailed For Sexual Offences Against Minor, Sends Him on Special Mission

Ezra Manyibe | 1 week ago

Justice Anne Ong'iijo of the Mombasa High Court on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, released Father Dominic Muli Nzioka from jail, and sent him on a mission to preach and educate members of the public about the Sexual Offences Act.

In her ruling, the judge directed that the head of the Mombasa Parish along with a probation officer will monitor the work done by Nzioka after which they will prepare a report by the court.

The freed priest was initially sentenced to 7 years in prison by Principal Magistrate Nelly Kariuki of the Shanzu Sexual and Gender Based Violence Court on June 22, 2023, for crimes committed against a minor. The 16-year-old girl was a member of his congregation.

Justice Ong'iijo directed that the father preach the word at least one Sunday, a month.

Nzioka was handed the new sentence after he moved to court to appeal the 7-year jail term despite agreeing to the crime.

"The appellant, having breached the Covid-19 protocols, and the church regulations, that children are not allowed to enter the parish house, as well as defying the victim's mother not to interact with her daughter, makes this court believe that the trial magistrate was proper in finding that the prosecution's evidence had been proved beyond reasonable doubt," the judge said. 

"However, this court sets aside the seven-year jail term and substitutes thereof three years under (the) supervision of a probation officer. While on probation, the appellant is hereby ordered to sensitise his congregants about the Sexual Offences Act at least one Sunday in a month," she added.

On September 28, 2020, Nzioka is said to have texted the minor and asked her to visit him at his house with the parish quarters. After she arrived, a man who allegedly in the priest's house left, leaving the two alone.

The minor told the court that the priest put alcohol in a coffee cup and handed it to her to drink. After that, the 'man of cloth' proceeded to touch her inappropriately.

Repeated calls from her mother is what she told the court may have prevented the priest from doing 'more' to her. Her mother also called Nzioka several times before asking her friend to help her locate her daughter.

The mother told the court that she had warned her daughter severally against conversations with the priest but she didn't listen.