Lans­dale man ac­cused of child rape waives pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Alan Gold­berg mgold­berg@jour­nalregis­ter.com

A Lans­dale man ac­cused of re­peat­edly sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a then-5-year-old girl in De­cem­ber 2011 waived his right to a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing be­fore aistrict Judge Harold Borek March 26. He will be for­mally ar­raigned in county court May 8.

Sa­muel Ben­jamin Arthur, 41, of the 300 block of York Av­enue in Lans­dale, faces a to­tal of 54 charges, in­clud­ing two counts of felony rape of a child, two counts of felony rape by forcible com­pul­sion, two counts of felony statu­tory sex­ual as­sault , five counted of felony ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault of a child, five counts of misdemeanor in­de­cent as­sault, one count of felony en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of chil­dren, one count of misdemeanor ter­ror­is­tic threats and more.

Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, po­lice in­ter­viewed the girl Feb. 13, and she told de­tec­tives that Arthur had sex­u­ally as­saulted her ap­prox­i­mately five dif­fer­ent times in De­cem­ber 2011 while she was liv­ing at his apart­ment. Po­lice said that the girl also stated that Arthur told her that “she should not tell any- one about this and that it was ‘their se­cret,’” and that he told her “that he would kill her if she told any­one.”

Lans­dale po­lice ar­rested Arthur March 1.

In ex­change for the March 26 waiver, Arthur’s bail was low­ered from $1T5,000 to $99,000.

Clad in a red prison jump­suit, Arthur lis­tened as the judge ex­plained the terms of the bail re­duc­tion.

“This is con­di­tional upon you stay­ing out of trou­ble, and hav­ing no con­tact with the vic­tim,” said Borek, adding that Arthur would have to con­sent to reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing of his res­i­dence, where he lives with his wife, Anita Bouhairie, 39 — who was sit­ting be­hind him in the court­room — and their four mi­nor chil­dren, and that he can have no in­ten­tional con­tact with any other mi­nors.

“Yes, sir, your honor,” Arthur said qui­etly when asked if he un­der­stood the con­di­tions.

Then, ges­tur­ing to­ward Arthur’s wife and a dozen of Arthur’s fam­ily mem­bers and friends sit­ting in the court­room, Borek said that none of them were al­lowed to have any kind of con­tact with the girl or the girl’s fam­ily or face a po­ten­tial con­tempt of court ci­ta­tion.

“You might not go to jail, but he will,” Borek said, point­ing to Arthur, as Bouhairie and the oth­ers nod­ded vig­or­ously.

Arthur, who is a na­tive of Ghana but a r.S. cit­i­zen since 2001, ac­cord­ing to his wife, was also or­dered to turn over his r.S. pass­port to the Lans­dale Po­lice De­part­ment within T2 hours. His at­tor­ney, Michael Quinn, im­me­di­ately handed the de­fen­dant’s pass­port to a Lans­dale de­tec­tive sit­ting at the pros­e­cu­tor’s ta­ble next to Mont­gomery County As­sis­tant aistrict At­tor­ney Jeremy Abidi­wan-Lupo.

Out­side the court­room, Quinn main­tained his client’s in­no­cence.

“There’s been a two-year de­lay in re­port­ing this, and from what I un­der­stand, there is no phys­i­cal ev­i­dence to cor­rob­o­rate the al­le­ga­tions,” said Quinn, who added that Arthur is a choir di­rec­tor at a church in Burling­ton, N.J., and had been work­ing at an or­ga­ni­za­tion in North­east Philadel­phia that sup­ports phys­i­cally and de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled chil­dren be­fore be­ing fired as a re­sult of his ar­rest.

Out­side the court­house, as she was wait­ing for her hus­band to be led out and taken back to the Mont­gomery County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity, Bouhairie ve­he­mently pro­claimed Arthur’s in­no­cence.

“He would never ... my hus­band is a very, very de­cent, God-fear­ing, re­spect­ful man,” she shouted, claim­ing that she and her hus­band had taken in the girl and the girl’s mother, who were home­less, for two years and paid for all of their liv­ing ex­penses.

“They started ask­ing me for more and more things,” said Bouhairie, and, in­sist­ing she and Arthur felt used and ex­ploited, “We kicked them out, and this is the re­ward we get — th­ese ter­ri­ble ac­cu­sa­tions.”

As Lans­dale po­lice brought Arthur out of the court­house and put him in the back of a po­lice cruiser, sev­eral of his group of sup­port­ers be­gan to wail and shout Bi­ble verses.

“This whole thing is go­ing to turn back around on them,” one of Arthur’s friends, who de­clined to give her name, said of the girl and her fam­ily. “We will for­give, but God will have his vengeance.”

Abidi­wan-Lupo had no com­ment as he left the court­house.

“My big­gest con­cern to­day was to get this guy rea­son­able bail,” said Quinn.

“I just need my hus­band home,” said Bouhairie. “My sons, my daugh­ters, they need their dad.”

Later March 26, Arthur posted bail and was re­leased from jail.

Photo by MICHAEL ALAN GOLD­BERG

Sa­muel Ben­jamin Arthur leaves district court in Lans­dale March 26 in cus­tody of po­lice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.