Gregory Hayes Dow, an American Christian missionary, arrested for raping and sexually abusing minor girls at a Kenyan orphanage has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.
The 61-year-old had pleaded guilty to four counts of illicit sexual conduct with minors at his orphanage in Kenya.
Dow Raped Minor Girls for Four Years
Hailing from Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Dow and his wife Mary Rose, after selling their belongings on US soil, moved to Boito in Kenya where they set up the Dow Family Children's Home in 2008.
The couple represented themselves as missionaries from Lifegate Church in Elizabethtown. Lancaster County churches and nonprofits funded the orphanage.
According to the Daily Mail, Dow asked the minors at the orphanage to call him dad. Dow, who sexually abused four minor girls between the age of 11 and 13 years, continued to rape girls between 2013 and 2017. One of the workers at the orphanage claimed to have seen him in the shower with a girl.
Dow's misdeeds became known after two of the victims fled the orphanage on September 11, 2017. They told the locals of the physical, psychological, and sexual abuse being inflicted on them by Dow and his wife. However, when the police arrived at the orphanage three days later, they found it to be closed with both Dow and his wife absconding.
Dow's Wife Implanted Birth Control Devices in the Victims
While Dow managed to flee Kenya, his wife was caught by the Kenyan police in a town near Nairobi in 2019. After her arrest, Rose was convicted of two counts of cruelty in connection with her husband's case. Rose aided the insertion of birth control for female child orphans.
She was sentenced to either one year in a Kenyan prison or pay a fine of about $500 after her conviction. She was allowed to return to the United States after paying her fine, reported The Sun.
During the recent hearing, Assistant US Attorney Timothy M Stengel said Rose took the victims and other girls to a Kenya clinic to have birth control devices implanted. "Her husband was then able to perpetrate these crimes without fear that the abuse would result in pregnancy," Stengel was quoted as saying.
Dow 'Groomed' His Victims
Two weeks after he fled the country fearing arrest, Kenyan police issued an arrest warrant for Dow and also filed for extradition from US soil. Despite his claims of being innocent, Dow was finally arrested in July 2019 from East Hempfield Township.
Considered to be a flight risk, he was held in federal custody until the trial. Dow appeared before US District Judge Edward Smith during a teleconference last Monday. During the hearing, Stengel said Dow engaged in grooming behavior by providing things of value such as cell phones to some of the children, including one of the victims.
Dow had previously been convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse against a teen in 1996. Under the terms of the plea agreement between the prosecution and defense, Dow will have to serve 15 years and eight months in prison and must register under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification act.