Accusations of sexual assault against previous candidates have been dropped against the man who has directed Rwanda’s national beauty pageant for more than ten years.
Several women have accused Dieudonné Ishimwe, better known as Prince Kid, of rape, soliciting or providing sexual favors, and harassment.
However, on Friday, a judge at the Kigali court decided that the 34-year-old pageant organizer must be released after rejecting the accusers’ evidence.
The judge disregarded audio recordings allegedly between Mr. Ishimwe and some of the beauty finalists and claimed one accuser had signed a statement in front of a notary indicating she hadn’t been sexually harassed.
Mr. Ishimwe’s defense team was requesting a 16-year prison sentence. They have not responded to the court decision on Friday.
During the trial, all witness testimony took place behind closed doors, although reporters, including Yves Bucyana of the BBC, were there for the verdict. As the judge ordered Mr. Ishimwe’s release, some spectators cheered.