During weekend, Police’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) raided a home of Bernhard Bery Glaser, a German national at Mwena in Kalangala town council over defilement allegations.
Unfortunately, the 70 year old was not at his home by the time of the raid. Police instead arrested his wife Ingrid Dilen and also rescued over 11 children.
‘’This is not the first time he has been accused of defilement, some time back he was arrested and charged though later he was acquitted ,’’ Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga told Watchdoguganda.
According to Enanga, they expect Glaser on Monday (today) to report at the CID headquarters in Kibuli to record a statement.
Glaser is the owner of Ssese Humanitarian Services & Bery’s place; a group home shelter located on Bugala Island – Kalangala.
This home has been in existence for over 10 years and provides shelter to child survivors of sexual violence and those at risk of child abuse and sex trafficking in the district. Currently, there are over 30 girls between 3-22 years at the residence.
The raid followed a filed complaint to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) by Asia Namusoke Mbajja, a founder of People In Need Agency (PINA).
PINA is a Non Governmental Organisation that provides hope and support to young people especially those living with HIV through provision of information, counseling and empowerment skills to reduce vulnerability to poverty, HIV infection and re-infection as well as improving adherence to anti-retro viral therapy among HIV positive youths.
Namusoke says a few years back she was invited by Glaser to Kalangala for a partnership.
After several attempts from Glaser to pull her on board, the professional counselor reveals that she decided to meet him.
“He told me that I was the right person to takeover her responsibility of looking after the girls since he was getting old day by day and that he was being eaten up by a deadly cancer,” Namusoke told Watchdog in an interview.
“He told me he was going to die anytime.”
On that very day, Namusoke tried to talk to some of the girls at the home shelter. All the girls were sleeping under the same roof with their caretaker (Glaser).
“After sensing that something was not right I decided to stay for a night so that I can talk to those girls. What they told me left my eyes drowned in tears.” Namusoke recollects.
“They told me the person they regarded as their father/ savior was forcing them to participate in a range of sexual acts including masturbation, erotic massage and penetrative sex, all for his pleasure. Worse still he sometimes uses four girls at once.”
She says Glaser also forced girls between the age of three and eight years to massage his entire body including his penis.
Namusoke further discloses that most of the girls at the culprit’s home have sponsors that pay for their school dues and other basic needs, but for them to access their sponsorship; they have to first make Glaser happy by having sex with him.
“Those that refuse to have sex with him are chased away from home and denied an opportunity to go to school. Failure to have sex with him or to meet his other expectations also means no access to food.”
Asked why it has taken her almost two years to report the case to police, Namusoke said they have always tried to get him behind bars but he was protected by authorities in Kalangala and besides she lacked resources to look after the victims incase Glaser was arrested.
“Responsible parties such as police in Kalangala have always been at his side. They would say he was being framed for his good work in the society. But after realising that this sex predator was not about to stop his evil acts against young girls I said enough is enough. I managed to talk to some organization that offered to take in the victims.”
Complaint to Police’s CID
In her complaint to CID, Namusoke said Glaser’s home is also not an ideal location for the survivors. Beyond housing and education, the home does not provide any psychosocial support services. The girls live in crowded rooms. Many of the girls report sleeping in Berry’s bedroom when his wife is away.
She also stated that the suspect forcefully inserts Norplant in girls aged 12 years and above.
“Many girls complain about side effects of the Norplant but they have no option and the moment they refuse to use family planning, they are chased away from home. It should be noted that there is no reason for these girls to use family planning- as they should not be sexually active. Moreover, the current adolescent and sexual reproductive health policy only allows for provision of family planning services to emancipated minors,” she said.
Glaser likely to be practicing sex tourism
According to Namusoke, many girls report sleeping with Glaser on the same bed and in groups of three or four especially the young girls (three-eight years). These girls massage him from head to toe including his penis. But again, Bery’s Bedroom has an inbuilt wall camera, a laptop and a desktop computer that seem to be connecting to each other.
“I have a feeling he records videos while playing sex with the girls and sales the videos to some online sites as an income generation project.”
Meanwhile, Glaser was first arrested on December 1, 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting 19 minors whom he looked after at his home shelter.
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