January 31, 2006

US woman accused of sex with Kenyan street boys

NAIROBI (Reuters) - An American woman working with street
children in Kenya appeared in court on Tuesday accused of
having sex with under-age boys during the last two years.

Police arrested Sherry Hsiao Hwa Chow, 24, on Sunday on
suspicion of indecently assaulting four boys who were staying
at a Nairobi rehabilitation center for street children.

She denied the allegations when she appeared at Nairobi's
high court. Chief Magistrate Aggrey Muchelule ordered her
remanded in custody until April 17 when her case will be heard.

"I plead not guilty," Hwa Chow told the court.

The police charge sheet said she "on diverse dates between
the years 2004 and 2005 at Bahati children rehabilitation
center in Nairobi ... indecently assaulted" the boys, who were
under the age of 18.

Hwa Chow has been staying in East Africa for the last three
years working with street children, police documents said,
without making clear whether she worked at the Bahati center.

She was also charged with being unlawfully present in the
country and failing to register herself as a foreign resident.

As in many African cities, street children are a common
sight in Nairobi, often seen sniffing glue, begging and
frequently involved in clashes with street vendors and police.