It looks like you are using an out of date browser.
Please update your browser in order to use this website.

News  › 
Top News Police officer jailed for sexually exploiting 14-year-old girl

Police officer jailed for sexually exploiting 14-year-old girl

A police officer has been found guilty of sexually exploiting a girl who he had employed as a domestic worker. Candace*, aged 14, bravely testified against her perpetrator in an Ethiopian federal court. The judge sentenced the offender to six years’ imprisonment. 

The survivor told Hope for Justice at the end of the legal process: “I was scared that I would end up in prison because the defendant was a police officer. However, I am now very happy to be safe.” 

Candace was born in a market town in southern Ethiopia. She never knew her father; her parents had separated due to a relationship breakdown, and Candace spent most of her childhood living with her grandparents. 

With her grandparents facing financial hardship, she was left with no option but to seek employment and move to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in search of a better life. 

She longed to earn money to support her family and continue her education. 

One of Hope for Justice’s staff members explained what happened next: “After arriving in Addis, the survivor began employment as a domestic worker for a police officer. The initial months were safe, and the working conditions were favourable. Her employer promised to send her to school, which made her eager to work and happy as she looked forward to achieving her dream. However, her situation took a drastic turn for the worse.” 

The employer began sexually abusing Candace. This began as verbal harassment and escalated rapidly. Candace was forced to consume a toxic substance and was then raped. 

She was trapped in this horrendous situation and coerced into silence. The cycle of abuse finally ended when the police officer was discovered by his wife. 

She reported the incident to the police who immediately removed Candace from exploitation. They referred the survivor to Hope for Justice and she came to stay at one of our Lighthouses; safe havens for children who have been exploited, or who are at risk of being exploited. 

Our team provided care, support and trauma-informed therapy, helping Candace to recover and rebuild her life before being returned to her family. You can watch this video about the value of family reintegration, which is part of our ‘Let’s Talk About It’ mini-series.

Candace told us that she wants to continue her education and, alongside her studies, she hopes to run a small business selling fruits in the community. 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the survivor 

young girl