Case of abuse at orphanage moves through court | Daily News

Case of abuse at orphanage moves through court

The Gangodawila Magistrate has ordered additional reports from law enforcement agencies on the case of 18 young women at a Dehiwala orphanage who police say were repeatedly sexually abused by a male employee.

Magistrate Anushka Seneviratne on Thursday ordered fresh reports from the National Child Protection Authority and the Victim’s Protection Unit.

Police arrested a driver at the children’s home, in July 2017, on charges of sexual harassment and grave sexual abuse.They have also filed charges against the man’s wife for allegedly severely beating one girl.

In testimony to police, the girls in the care of the children’s home said the wife, repeatedly ignored them when they said her husband was abusing them. She was the matron of the orphanage.

The judge ordered that the medical report of the girl who may have been beaten be submitted.

Observing that the young women at the Children’s Home, which is run by a Foundation, were taken from their state schools and placed in lower grades in an English-medium school also run by the Foundation, he ordered the Probation Department to submit reports on the education and health standards of the children. All three cases are scheduled to be called again on March 8.

Attorney Nilani Manthrinayake, one of the six lawyers representing the children, said she was pleased that the case was moving forward.

“Of course, we are concerned for the safety of the girls,” she said, but noted that the young woman who was allegedly seriously sexually abused by the suspect had been transferred to another home by court’s order.

NCPA Chairperson Marini De Livera said on Friday that her investigators were working on a fresh report about the abuse at the orphanage, following the judge’s order.

A representative of the Foundation, has repeatedly doubted the stories of the girls in her care saying that there is no evidence to prove the allegations. According to her, there was “no evidence” of sexual abuse.

But in a “final and formal” statement released earlier this month, the Foundation said that “we would like (the children) to be able to live good, healthy lives, recovering through counseling, untainted by public scandal, continuing to excel in their studies and work as they have done for so long now.” 


 

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