A Senegalese Koranic teacher suspected of having raped twenty-seven of his schoolgirls in Touba was arrested on Monday June 5 in this city in the center of the country after several weeks on the run, a police official told AFP. The alleged rapist “was arrested today after reporting himself to the police. After an interrogation, he was handed over to the gendarmerie. He was on the run.” for several weeks, said this Touba police official, confirming information from the local press.
Touba is a city considered holy by the Mourides, an important Muslim religious brotherhood in Senegal. The Quranic teacher, whose age was not given, had been missing since the case broke in the first quarter following a complaint from victims who produced medical certificates, the official said.
He is accused of having “raped twenty-seven students in his school in Touba”, he said. The alleged assaults were spread over time, he said without further details. He did not comment on the age of the victims. The victims are “minors”which suggests that they were less than 15 years old, and the Koranic school, where teachings on and around Islam are given, has been closed, according to the local press.
The affair broke out when one of the girls refused to return to school because the Koranic teacher “had sex with her and all the other girls”wrote the daily The day May 31.
This case coincides within a few days with the verdict handed down last week against opponent Ousmane Sonko, accused of having raped an employee of a beauty salon in Dakar. Mr. Sonko was finally acquitted of the rape charges, but sentenced to two years in prison for having pushed the young woman to attacks on good morals.
The case made headlines for two years. But the issue of sexual violence has been relegated to the background, as the file has been politicized. The Senegalese Parliament criminalized rape in 2020.