The organiser of the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for rape and soliciting sexual favours — 10 months after being cleared of the charges.
Dieudonne Ishimwe, a former musician popularly known as Prince Kid, had been arrested in April last year accused of sexually assaulting former contestants.
In December, a judge found the 36-year-old not guilty, citing insufficient evidence, and ordered his release, but the prosecution appealed.
He was convicted on Friday by a Kigali court of rape and soliciting sexual favours but acquitted on a charge of sexual harassment.
Prosecutors had sought a 16-year prison sentence, but the three-judge panel said it decided on a five-year term “based on the fact that it is the first time that Mr Ishimwe has been charged with a crime,” according to the ruling read by one of the judges.
Ishimwe, who earlier this year married a former Miss Rwanda, was also fined two million Rwandan francs ($1,640).
Neither Ishimwe nor his legal representatives were in court for the ruling.
Ishimwe’s attorney Emeline Nyembo told AFP that they had not yet decided whether to appeal.
“I have not had the opportunity to meet with my client. Once I have consulted with Mr Ishimwe and discussed the matter with him, we will determine our course of action.”
Ishimwe’s arrest led to the suspension of the annual Miss Rwanda contest, which billed itself as the country’s leading beauty pageant.
Miss Rwanda debuted in the global Miss World competition in 2016.
Source: Macau Business