Criminal Court “A” Sentence Defendant Reina Capehart, Alias “Aisha Kenneh” to 20-year Imprisonment For Trafficking In Person
Monrovia-Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice has finally sentenced Defendant Reina Capehart, alias ‘Aisha Kenneh’ to 20 year’s in prison for the commission of the Crime, Trafficking In Person.
Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Willie also fined Defendant Capehart the amount of USD$5,000, as provided by the new TIF Law.
“Out of 10 persons for which she was indicted, only three testified in court, therefore, the court confirmed the verdict of the trial jury in court and hereby sentenced Defendant Reina Capehart, alias “Aisha Kenneh” to 20 years in prison, as well as a fined of US$5,000 and not more.” Judge Willie averred.
The sentence comes days after she was brought down guilty unanimously, by a panel of the 12-man jury following legal argument into the matter.
Ms. Capehart, alias Aisha sentencing hearing was expected to take place 0n Monday, April 25, at Criminal court A”, at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
However, the Sentenced was placed on temporary hold, following a motion for retrial filed by Defense Lawyers in the case involving the government of Liberia, represented by the Ministry of Justice as grounds for the prosecutor and Defendant Capehart.
Defense Lawyers Represented by Cllr. J. Lavelli Supuwood and others on Monday, April 25, applied, requesting a motion for retrial consistency with Section 22.1 (e) of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia.
However, Judge Roosevelt Willie on Tuesday, April 26, denied the Defense request.
Following the denial of the Defense’s request for a retrial, the defense however pleaded that the sentence of Ms. Capehart be reduced on the basis that she does not have a criminal record in her community, based on a pretrial investigation conducted.
But the appeal was never granted, following the 20 years sentenced by Capehart, Alias “Aisha Kenneth,” with a minimum fine of US$5,000 (Five Thousand US Dollars).
The US$5,000 fine is in line with the new Trafficking In Person Law (TIF Law).
Her minimum fine according to Judge Willie, was based on the fact that Defendant Capehart had good behavior in the community, following a pretrial sentence investigation.
Under the new Trafficking In Person Law, properties of the convicts and properties knowingly used in the execution of the crime can be confiscated and auctioned by the court to settle restitution to victims.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, Judge Willie noted that Ms. Capehart’s action falls in line with the three elements that constitute Trafficking In Person, to include, Act, Means, and Purpose.
According to him, she uses an ‘Act’ of convincing the victim to take them to Oman, while using the ‘Means’ of deceit that they will get huge salaries for the ‘Purpose’ of exploitation, torture, extortion, and slavery.
Ms. Capehart is the first to be convicted under the reversed Human Trafficking law which provides for a minimum jail sentence of 20 years, with restitution to victims for injuries and damages.
Following Judge Willie’s final conviction, Counsel for Defendant accepted but announced that they will take an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Nevertheless, Judge Willie accepted the appeal, noting that it is constitutional.