A disturbing story about a sex tape showing a 65- year-old retired male teacher from Minnesota in the United States of America having sex with at least 8 children, between the ages of 6 and 11, from Ghana, has hit the west African country’s newspaper headlines. The coverage approach with sexually explicit photographs by the the Daily Guide, first to publish the story, has been harshly criticised by civil society as well as the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) as “highly unethical, grossly indecent… pornographic” and “racist”.
Recounting the video, Daily Guide, the Ghanaian newspaper that first published the story, noted: “In the videos, the accused person’s face never appeared as he held their heads and from time to time asked them to look straight into the camera (…) In other videos, some of the victims were seen sitting in the background in a queue, apparently waiting for their turn, while they all kept a straight businesslike face, except for one of the victims who was believed to be living with the alleged paedophile”.
The newspaper indicated that the Captions in video included: ‘An 11-Year-Old Black Cocksucker, Filmed location in Dawa, Ghana’; “A Six-Year-Old Cocksucker. She loves the taste of cock; Filmed at the request of the victim”
Confirming the story, Mrs. Rebecca Nyamah, Regional Director of Department of Women and Children Affairs, in Accra, eight children who appear in the sex tape have confessed that Mr. Patrick Ken Larbash had, alledgedly, given them candies and also allowed them to watch movies in his house in exchange for oral sex. “All the children who were identified in the video footages were later interrogated, including one of them who lives with the accused as his house-help, and all admitted having been (performing oral sex, ed) on the accused several times for toffees, food and a film show,”
Mrs. Nyamah also indicated that despite a detailed search at his residence that has led to the seizure of Mr. Larbash’s mobile phone and other electronic gadgets including a computer found to contain some incriminating information, the accused has denied all charges levelled against him.
The story’s coverage, however, has failed to go down well with many Ghanaians who have complained about the uncensored use of language and inappropriate photographs. The Ghana journalists association has also condemned the story as “highly unethical, grossly indecent and pornographic”. In a statement released Thursday, the GJA “the coverage approach by the paper with sexually offensive photographs promotes obscenity which every journalist under Article 5 of the GJA Code of Ethics is required to guard against,” particularly as it involves “vulnerable groups like children.”
The use of “white” in the headline has also been considered as racist. “Article 6 of the Ghana Journalism Association’s Code”, they say, prohibits items that encourage discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, colour, creed, gender or sexual orientation.
According to the newspaper, Mr. Patrick Ken Larbash, presently in police custody pending further investigations into the allegation, is believed to have relocated to his current neighbourhood after former older neighbours became suspicious of his movements.