A businessman, James Elewenson, has been arraigned before the Candide Johnson Magistrates’ Courthouse for allegedly defiling a 17-year-old girl in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Elewenson runs a boutique where the victim worked as a sales girl.
It was alleged that 37-year-old Elewenson had on several occasions made sexual advances to the victim.
The victim, who started working with Elewenson on October 6, 2018, was allegedly raped that same month.
The victim alleged that on the day she was raped, Elewenson told her to help him re-arrange his bedroom located inside the same building as the boutique, followed her into the room, locked the door and forcefully had intercourse with her.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim bled profusely after the incident.
The victim was said to have confided in her neighbour, who saw her crying afterwards, as she could not tell her parents.
Encouraged by the neighbour, the victim subsequently reported the matter at the police station.
In her statement to the police, the victim narrated, “On the day he (Elewenson) first attempted raping me, I was in the other room to wear a gown for one of the dummy when he came in and started touching me. He pulled up my gown and forcefully removed my pant, pushed me to the wall and as he was about to penetrate, he noticed that his brother was around, so he stopped.
“He warned me not to tell anyone and also threatened that if I stopped coming to the shop, he would lie against me that I stole from him. He said he would get me and my parents arrested. It was a serious pain for me as I could not tell anyone.
“The day the incident (rape) occurred, he instructed me to clean his room and that I must be done before he came back; but unfortunately, he came back before I could finish the task. He entered the room, locked the door and raped me. I shouted but all to no avail, because he had raised the volume of the music so that no one could hear. I couldn’t tell my parents because he had threatened that he would get me arrested by claiming that I stole his money.”
Elewenson, however, denied the allegation in his statement to the police, stating, “I did not send her on any errand to my room; I do not have a television or a radio set in my room; there was no time that I slapped her or did anything to her.”
The suspect was arraigned on three counts bordering on assault and defilement.
The charges read in part, “That you, James Elewenson, on October 27, 2018, at about noon on Allison Street, Ikorodu Garage, in the Ikorodu Magisterial District, did defile one (name withheld), thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.”
The presiding magistrate, Mrs F. A. Azeez, remanded the suspect in prison as his plea was not taken.
The case was adjourned till December 6, 2018.