The three Liberians who were granted bail by a Swedru Circuit Court in the Central Region last Friday for sexually abusing some orphans failed to turn up in court on Tuesday.
The three, Jonathan Johnson, who served as administrator, assisted by Rufus Joe and one Ramsey, were all staff of the Africa Heartwood Project Orphanage in Budumburam.
According to the Executive Director of Enslavement Prevention Alliance of West Africa, Tatiana Kotlyarenko, the accused persons are likely to flee the country, and are currently harassing the guardians of the victims within the camp to withdraw the case.
Kotlyarenko, who is sheltering some of the abused children, alleged the suspects had purchased a vehicle some few weeks back, and were ready to flee the country by road.
The case will be heard July 31.
The Heartwood Project Orphanage was opened at the camp in 2008 to support orphan refugee children living in deploring conditions at the Buduburam Refugee Camp.
The orphanage, which was shut down recently after the Buduburam Camp folded up, was established by two Americans, Andy Jones and Kayla Jones.
It was managed by the three suspects and other Liberians living in the camp.
Joint investigation by The Globe newspaper and the Enslavement Prevention Alliance - West Africa (EPAWA) found that the three suspects sexually exploited the children at the home up until its recent closure.
A former member of the home, who gave his name as Victor, lived in the home for five years and recounted the harrowing abuses the three suspects subjected orphans to.
According to him, cases of abuse, theft and prostitution were initiated and supervised by the home’s former administrator, Jonathan Johnson and his other two accomplices.
“Ramsey for instance was approaching some of the girls at the home and sometimes he will take money from the big men and they will come and carry the girls away,” he said.
Kotlyarenko, who assisted The Globe’s investigations into the reported case of abuse at the orphanage said, her first visit to the home two years ago showed clear signs that the children were exposed to harm.
According to her, the young girls wore indecent and fancy clothes as well as jewelry.
She said the children lacked supervision and were spotted roaming around the camp by themselves.
“I got curious and asked questions.
I spoke to two girls who previously stayed at the orphanage and they related to me that the majority of the girls were involved in prostitution,” she said.
It was also revealed that the managers of the home turned themselves into pimps and sold many of the older girls to sex-loving men.
Many of the young victims have since gown into high-end commercial sex workers who now manage themselves and other girls in the illicit trade.
Many of them, The Globe found, work at a club close to the Buduburam camp.
The caretakers have also been accused of seizing goods and funds donated for the upkeep of the orphanage.
The Domestic Violence Unit of the Kasoa Police Command in the Central Region has taken interest in the case and is set to prosecute the suspects.
The Head of DOVVSU at the Kasoa Police Command, DSP Florence Anaman, told The Globe two of the men, whose names she decline to disclose, have been granted bail but the case will be seen to its logical conclusion.
By Juanita Sallah/The Globe newspaper/Ghana