Bernhard Glaser, a German/Belgian national who was accused of molesting Ugandan girls has passed on. According to his lawyer Evans Ochieng, Glaser died on Thursday morning from Luzira Prison.
Glaser, also known as Bery, was on Wednesday granted a cash bail of Shs 30 million by Kampala High Court Judge Moses Kazibwe to enable him to travel to Belgium for cancer treatment. However, he was sent back to prison after failing to raise the money.
He was the director of Ssese Humanitarian Services, a community based organisation at Mwena landing site in Kalangala district. The organization was started to provide rehabilitation services to infected, affected, abused, and violated girls in Kalangala district.
The centre known among locals as Bery’s place also provided psychosocial care to victims of sexual-related offences.
At the place, Glaser hosted only female children who received training in reflexology and sexual reproductive health. But later, he was accused of sexually harassing the less privileged children under his care, leading to his arrest and subsequent trial. He faced eight charges of aggravated defilement and 19 counts of aggravated child trafficking.
Glazer was first arrested in November 2013 and charged after two children under his care accused him of sexual abuse. The minors aged between 12 and 14, said that Glaser had repeatedly defiled them since 2007.
During the operation in which he was arrested, police recovered a dildo and lubricants that he allegedly applied to the victims before defiling them. The detectives found that all girls at the facility had implants, one of the ways used by ladies in family planning. Subsequently, 21 suspected victims were relocated to Kampala for safe custody, but 19 of the children returned to Kalangala days later.
But in 2015, Justice John Eudes Keitirima dismissed all cases against him due to lack of evidence. The case was reinstated in February 2019.
Bery had applied for bail to seek treatment for stage four cancer of the skin (Melanoma) and diabetes. His request was however rejected by justice Winfred Nabisinde on grounds that his health condition is not so grave to withstand trial. She noted that Glaser had not been denied access to any medical care and that all medical reports don’t reveal that there is an unmanageable condition that can result in death.
Although he was expected to get medical treatment from German, on the recommendation of the head of the Uganda Cancer Institute Jackson Orem, Bery remained in prison, while seeking care at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
According to Dr Orem. There is evidence of progression of cancer, to a level that cannot be handled by the Uganda Cancer Institute. Stage four melanoma means cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, or other organs and tissue. It may have also spread to lymph nodes that are a good distance from the original tumour which makes it hard to cure.