A sentence of 15 years in prison has been passed by a Kenyan court on Friday, August 16th, to detain both Frank Wanyama, 24, and Alex Olaba, 23, consecutively, behind bars for the gang rape of a female singer at a birthday party last year, AFP reported on Saturday, August 17th.
The international sevens rugby players were earlier this month found guilty of the rape in a case that highlighted what some activists refer to as a tradition of "rape culture" in rugby.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku handed down the sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, saying "a deterrent sentence is necessary”; however, due to the sensitivity of the case, the details of the proceedings and the case would remain in private, not made to the public.
Regardless of the two convicts showing remorse, the trial remained in process, and subsequently, Mutuku declined requests from the defence lawyers that their clients be allowed to avoid jail time due to their youth.
The two convicts, Wanyama and Olaba, who were both university students when the rape took place, play for the Nairobi Harlequins club and have played for the national sevens team in global tournaments. Both were recently suspended from playing when their trial began.
They both had a high-point in their career as sportsmen when Olaba played as a winger for both the sevens and 15-aside national teams, while Wanyama captained Kenya's second sevens team to win the Victoria Sevens tournament in Zimbabwe in March last year.
Gender violence activist Nafula Wafula created a petition last urging the Kenya Rugby Union to take measures to address accusations of sexual assault, including giving mandatory training to players, following a series of allegations against rugby players.
The petition, which gathered over 10,000 signatures, said the rape culture that is ingrained in the sports industry must be dealt with accordingly, AFP reported.