Price of a Car for Ruined Childhood: American Couple to Pay a Fine for Child Torture in Uganda
An American couple living and working illegally in Kampala, Uganda, came to the nation from in 2017 to participate in a "humanitarian mission" by becoming foster parents to three children. In December 2022, they were charged with "aggravated torture", child trafficking and held into custody. Now the court arrives at its final decision.
The High Court in Kampala ordered Nicholas Scott Spencer and Mackenzie Leing Mathias, a husband and a wife of the US citizenship who were found guilty of torturing their foster son, to pay a fine, the Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, reported.
The total sum of the fine is Shs104,860,000 (approx. $27,700): the spouses must pay Shs100m (approx. $26,000) to the victim, while Nicholas was also sentenced to a fine of Shs1,500,000 (approx. $400) for child neglect, illegal stay in the country and employment without a work permit. A bigger fine of Shs3,360,000 (approx. $880) was imposed on his wife, Mackenzie, for not only unlawful stay and employment but also for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.
Since the child has no relatives, the money shall be deposited in the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Asset Recovery Management Fund account in Bank of Uganda, the newspaper reported.
“…in the interim pending the appointment of a trustee who will manage these funds for the victim and given the circumstances of this victim who seems to have no family, in order to ensure that the funds are properly managed for the benefit of the child, I order that the Office of the DPP shall work with the public trustee who is the Administrator General at least within three months from date of this order to agree on how this money should be managed for the benefit of this child,” Justice Komuhangi ordered, per the outlet.
The couple was initially charged with aggravated trafficking in children and torture. These charges, however, were then reportedly dropped by the Public Prosecution.
According to the report, citing the court documents, the victim was a student at Dawn Children's Center - Special Children Trust WHO.