NAIROBI, May 1- Besieged former Ugandan police athletics coach, Peter Wemali faces the maximum death penalty when the charge against him was amended from rape to aggravated defilement after he was found to be HIV positive.
According to Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper, medical tests on the coach who was finally apprehended after outcry led by three-time Commonwealth champion, Moses Kipsiro, found he had infected two of the three runners he was accused of raping with the deadly virus.
“Basing on complaints from three female athletes against Wemali for coercing them into sex, we had initially preferred the charge of rape against him.
“But the police medical examination report indicates that the accused is HIV positive which is why we changed it to aggravated defilement implying the accused committed the offense with cardinal knowledge of his health status to punish his victims,” a prosecutor who declined to be named told the Monitor.
Wemali appeared before Kapchorwa Chief Magistrate RobbsWilliam Komaketch to face charges following his arrest mid last month.
The sex scandal broke after Uganda star distance Kipsiro made public complaints from his female teammates against Wemali who was the head coach of a police camp in eastern Uganda.
Wemali was taken into custody over the alleged rape and defilement of three female runners aged 15, 16 and 17 between 2013 and 2014.
It said the former coach had been arrested after the girls underwent medical examinations.
Last year, female junior national team runners accused him of sexually harassing them during a training camp. Wemali was said to have advised them to get pregnant and then abort so they could run better.
Wemali, who has also been accused of practising witchcraft, was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Uganda Athletics Federation.
Kipsiro withdrew from Uganda’s team for the Guiyang World Cross Country Championships in March claiming to have received death threats on his phone following his outspoken views against the coach.
With the Delhi 5000m and 10000m double champion who defended the longer distance title in Scotland last year threatening to seek new citizenship, the noose finally tightened around the previously untouchable amorous coach.
Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda’s Olympic and world marathon champion, told the Monitor last month that Wemali was a “wrong character” who had “ruined” the career of one promising young female runner, and turned another into his wife.