Liberia launches investigation into U.S. charity after rape allegations

Liberia’s government has launched an investigation into U.S. charity More Than Me (MTM) following allegations that a founding staff member raped several children in its care, government ministers said on Friday.

U.S. news website ProPublica last week detailed allegations that before 2014 the charity’s Liberian co-founder, Macintosh Johnson, sexually assaulted at least 10 girls over several years including on MTM property. The report has sparked outrage among Liberians.

Johnson was arrested in 2014 and died of AIDS two years later in prison while awaiting re-trial for alleged rape.

MTM and MTM officials in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday

In a statement last week, the U.S. charity said its leadership should have recognised warning signs that Johnson was abusing children. “To all the girls who were raped by Macintosh Johnson in 2014 and before: we failed you,” it said.

In a letter on its website, MTM said it would cooperate fully with the Liberian investigation, and it retained U.S. law firm McLane Middleton to conduct an external audit of the organization. It also said that when the charity learned of Johnson’s crimes in 2014, the group immediately reported them to the Liberian government and took action to prevent a recurrence.

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