‘His wife transported victims to have birth control implants’ – US orphanage owner jailed for sexually abusing minors
NEWSMAN, Abuja – An American man, Gregory Dow has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for abusing underage girls in an orphanage in Kenya.
United States Department of Justice, in a statement said the court also ordered Dow, to pay a total of $16,000 in restitution, for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in Kenya.
Investigation by FBI’s Philadelphia Field office with assistance from Kenyan authorities and local law enforcement in Lancaster County revealed that the 61-year old Dow travelled to Kenya in 2008 to start an orphanage with his wife.
Dow while still maintaining close ties with the US sexually abused the children at the orphanage called Dow Family Children’s Home on multiple occasions, where also, his wife was accused of being complicit in the abuses.
“The defendant’s wife even transported the victims to a medical clinic to have birth control devices implanted into their arms, which allowed Dow to perpetrate his crimes without fear of impregnating his victims,” US attorney’s office said in a statement after Dow was sentenced.
His sex crime came to public knowledge after two girls, aged 12 and 14, escaped from the orphanage and told of sexual abuses going on at the orphanage.
A Kenyan woman, Margaret Ruto living in the US, who had just returned to her village, heard of the stories of sexual abuse and tipped off the FBI. She “turned detective” and took down the testimonies of the abused girls herself. Two of the girls were as young as 11 years old when the abuse began.
“I was meant to know about this,” Ruto told Washington Post. “And I was meant to do something about it.”
Dow is however a known sex offender long before he travelled to Kenya. He pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit sexual abuse in 1996. He received two years’ probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender for a decade.
When the Dow Family Children’s Home opened in 2008, foreigners were not required to submit to background checks. It is possible that no one in Kenya was aware Dow had been a registered sex offender in the United States until 2006, Washington Post reported.
At least 83 children ages 9 months to 18 years lived in Dow’s home before it was closed in 2017.