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Kisumu Bishop Sentenced for Defiling Minors, Transmitting HIV



A clergyman based in Kisumu County has been sentenced after he was found guilty of defiling three minors and deliberately transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to one of his victims.

Bishop Joseph Agutu Obala was on Tuesday convicted of four counts at a Kisumu court – three for defilement and one for infecting the minor with the virus.

He committed the crimes between April and July 2016 while living with the girls at an Orphanage in Kisumu.

Two of the girls were 15 years old at the time while the other was 14. Mr Obala was also accused of touching the minors inappropriately on many occasions.

In his defence, the cleric claimed the charges were fabricated and that the girls used his phone, while he was away, to communicate with their boyfriends.

He further stated that there was no proof that he is responsible for infecting one of the victims with HIV.

The clergyman was sentenced to 75 years in prison; 20 years for each of the defilement offences and 15 years for transmitting HIV.

Resident Magistrate Pauline Mbulika said he will serve the sentences consecutively.

The cleric’s lawyer, Steve Akoko, said he will appeal the whole judgement and check whether there was full compliance with the law during the trial.

“The bishop is a layman so he could have missed procedures or technicalities during the trial. That is what we will look at when we appeal,” he said.

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