Nairobi – Two Kenyans accused of stripping a woman have been charged with sexual assault, reports said on Thursday, a case that sparked angry protests after a video of the attack was made public.
The two men, a minibus driver and his conductor, are accused of stripping a woman and then sexually assaulting her at a petrol station in the capital Nairobi on 19 September, because they believed her clothing was too revealing.
The case, as well as other attacks, prompted hundreds to march through the capital last month calling for an end to violence against women.
The men, Nicholas Chege and Meshack Mburu, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two counts of robbery with violence and sexual assault, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.
Great public apprehension
They face a possible death penalty if found guilty.
They are also accused of stealing the woman’s belongings including a telephone and cash.
A film, shot on a mobile telephone on September 19 showed a violent mob stripping a woman in the Githurai district on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Since then there have been at least three other similar recorded attacks on women in Nairobi.
In one case, a police officer has been charged with trying to tear the clothes off a woman onboard a bus.
Prosecuting lawyer Duncan Ondimu said that “there has been an increase in cases of assault and stripping of women, which has caused great public apprehension,” the Nation reported.
Lawmakers are currently debating in parliament boosting security laws, including an amendment to make such stripping attacks punishable by up to 20 years in prison.