HARPER, Maryland – Harper’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court has sentenced the 25-year-old Patience Doplah to two years in prison for burning the hands of her five-year-old niece, Armah Geply.
The sentence is a result of a charge of aggravated assault against a minor. Doplah had punished her niece for stealing food to eat. She reacted by burning the minor’s hands over an open fire while they were tied with plastic bags. Geply lost five fingers on her left hand and two fingers on the right hand. The incident occurred on January 2018 in the Zone 11 community in Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District.
The case was forwarded to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court by the Pleebo Magisterial Court because the case was beyond the jurisdiction of the magisterial court. Judge Nelson Tokpah presided over the case.
Speaking during the trial through sobs, Patience Doplah admitted to committing the crime. She asked for mercy, saying she did not know what caused her to commit the act.
“Y’all see me? Do I look like a bad person? No, it was the work of the devil, but since the law says I should go to jail for two years, I cannot do anything but what the law is saying,” she said.
The Independent Human Rights Commission’s monitor in Maryland, Boniface Nyema, told The Bush Chicken that the sentence was too light, considering the crime committed against the minor.
“This will not serve as deterrent, because others committing human rights crimes or violations here will not be afraid since their jail sentences will always be less, simply because they admitted to committing the crimes in open court,” he said.
Nyema called on Marylanders to report any form of human rights violation in the county.
He also hailed the media for their role in reporting such issues against women and children in the county. He encouraged them to continue to provide the platform for fighting against sexual and gender-based violence.
The Bush Chicken’s George Momo received the Human Rights Reporter of the Year award from the Press Union of Liberia for his coverage of the story.
Meanwhile, the survivor and her mother have since traveled to the Unites States for treatment and rehabilitation after spending several weeks at St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Congo Town.
Future photo by George Momo