After being accused of child trafficking and abusing one of the three foster children from a Christian charity there that they were caring for, an American couple is now facing the death penalty in Uganda.
Both 32-year-olds, Nicholas Spencer and Mackenzie Leigh Mathias Spencer, have been detained since Dec. 9 after police received a complaint of alleged torture from neighbors in Kampala, the country’s capital.
In order to carry out humanitarian work, they relocated to the country of East Africa in 2017. The next year, they took in three children from the Welcome Ministry in Jinja City.
According to police and local media, that included the accused victim, a 10-year-old boy who attended a special needs school and is HIV-positive.
The Spencers allegedly repeatedly mistreated the youngster from 2020, which caught the notice of neighbors who recorded some of the episodes on film, according to Ugandan police who announced the Spencers’ initial arrest.
One of the caregivers said to the authorities that just one youngster was tortured because the foster parents thought he was mentally unstable, hyperactive, and defiant.
The Spencers were first accused of aggravated torture on December 9, a crime that carries a life sentence as the maximum penalty. To that charge, they have entered a not guilty plea.
According to the state prosecutor, they were also charged this week with aggravated child trafficking, which carries a death sentence if proven guilty.
According to the charge sheet, the pair exploited the child’s position of vulnerability to recruit, transport, and keep the child.
The Spencers appeared in a magistrate’s court on Tuesday, when the additional accusation was read out. Due to the fact that only the High Court may hear the more serious case, they were not permitted to enter a plea.