Gerald Campbell, a 66-year-old American man managing an orphanage in Malawi, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting orphans placed under his care, according to Reuters.
Campbell, a resident of the state of Texas, had pled guilty to the crime in May, admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with eight underage orphans staying at the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi between 1997 and 2009.
According to Reuters, the accused said he lured the minors, one of whom was infected with HIV, into his lavish home in Malawi, where he sexually abused them for several months each.
“Campbell admitted that he knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he thought nobody would believe the minors if they reported the abuse,” U.S. prosecutors told Reuters.
Papers obtained by Reuters from the Federal court in Texas revealed that Campbell was likely to get a life sentence were it not for a plea agreement he negotiated with the prosecution.
Sexual Predators Disguised As Volunteers
Recently, cases of sexual abuse of African children – mostly orphans – by foreign missionaries have been making headlines, raising questions as to the real intention of some of these volunteers when they come to Africa.
In March this year, a court in Oklahoma, America, found 20-year-old Matthew Durham guilty of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya in 2014.
Matthew was sentenced to 40 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $15,863, according to Samira Sawlani, a journalist at Media Diversified.
In his plea, Matthew stated that a demon named Luke takes him at night and that he is powerless to resist his urges.
However, the court found him guilty of sexually abusing four children aged between 5 and 14 years.
In another case, British Airways offered to pay compensation to 38 girls in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, who were sexually abused by a British pilot, Simon Wood, who was working in East Africa between 2003 and 2013, says Sawlani.
It was widely reported that Wood committed suicide just a few days before he was scheduled to appear in court. According to Sawlani, explicit images of African children were retrieved from his laptop.