US executive jailed for child sex

An American executive has received a 15 year prison sentence from a Kenyan court after he was found guilty of having sex with minors.

John Cardon Wagner was found guilty of defiling three girls aged between 13 and 14 years at his house in an upper class Nairobi suburb. Two women – Judy Nyaguthii and Faith Nyawira – were jailed for 10 years each. They were accused of bringing the girls to Wagner and therefore facilitating prostitution.

Mr Wagner was the Chief Executive for the exclusive Java chain of coffee houses. The case first came to light in June 2008 and prosecution has been ongoing for over a year. During the trial, Wagner was granted bail but had to deposit his passport with police to prevent him from fleeing the country.

The trial was a drama of sorts, with allegations that the prosecution was bungled. There were reports that the defilement allegations were instigated by persons or organizations extorting money from Wagner. At the end, though, the judge seemed convinced enough by the evidence to convict Wagner.

Cases of child sex abuse have reached alarming levels in Kenya, fuelled by an erosion in traditional values, the growth of urban slums and poverty.

Wagner is going to face a difficult time in Kenya’s notorious jails where violence, sodomy, drug dealing and disease are the order of the day.