Lansdale man accused of child rape waives preliminary hearing
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.
Samuel Benjamin Arthur leaves district court in Lansdale March 26 in custody of police.