The Sexuality Blog: A serial rapist got caught in UNILAG but that’s only half the story

Unilag

Earlier this week, the internet went agog with the unbelievable story of Imonitie Ilen-Otuma, a graduate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) who was recognised by a woman he had raped on campus a few weeks before and apprehended.

According to reports, Imonitie had raped a woman late last year and because she had been intimate with him prior, when she tried to tell people about being raped by him her claims were dismissed.

He then raped another woman early this year, one he had only recently been acquainted with and whom he raped the first opportunity he got alone with her. The second victim recognised him while on campus picking up his girlfriend and cajoled hostel security to accost him.

It was only when he got to the police station that his first victim was called in to pick him out of a lineup and corroborate the second victim’s claims.

The Lagos Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) became involved when they were alerted to the crime via Twitter and they ensured the rapist, who had already been let out on bail was rearrested and charged.

However, in light of this new wave of accusation it popped up on Twitter that Imonitie was not only arrested for rape in 2015, he had been accused and tagged a rapist as early as 2013, when he was still doing his undergraduate degree. This Daily post article from 2015 clearly exposes Imonitie as a rapist and documents that he was arrested by the police in Yaba.

This is why women do not come forward when they are raped. A serial rapist who had been visually identified and even written about somehow managed to get admission to study for his master’s degree in the same campus where he had either groomed women or outrightly raped them.

There were violations or sex offenders lists he was added to to immediately tag him as a rapist, no real repercussions for his crimes. How does a woman feel encouraged to come forward about sexual assault if the perpetrators can continue to function, hidden in plain sight by a system that simply will not prosecute them thoroughly or quickly enough?

Imonitie had it coming, and we hope that the judge sentences him with a punish commensurate to his crime.

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