May 2, 2006

US missionary, 70, accused of sodomy in Kenya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan court charged a 70-year-old
Catholic missionary from the United States on Tuesday with
sodomy in a Nairobi park.

"I am not guilty," Andre Hotchkiss told the court.

Police said Hotchkiss committed an "unnatural offence" with
a man on April 9 in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi.
Homosexuality is outlawed in Kenya, as in many parts of Africa.

The complainant, Paul Gathogo Kamau, an unemployed
33-year-old, told the court he wanted to withdraw the case
after realizing the accused was "a man of God."

But Chief Magistrate Aggrey Muchelule rejected that and
ordered a trial to begin on July 3.

"This matter is a serious offence and I will not allow for
the withdrawal of the charges," he said.

The missionary was released on a cash bail of 300,000
Kenyan shillings ($4,216).