April 2, 2014: Today, a jury found Sumo Dukulah guilty of Rape of a Child, Rape Forcible Compulsion, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse Forcible Compulsion, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Corruption of Minors charges.
Dukulah, a former teacher at L.P. Hill Elementary School in Philadelphia, was arrested in April of 2013 when his daughter disclosed that he had been sexually abusing her for approximately eight years.
The evidence showed that the victim’s mother found out about the abuse years before, but sided with her husband and told her daughter not to tell anyone about the abuse because it would bring shame onto the family. The defendant continued to abuse the young girl until she disclosed in April of 2013.
The victim showed great courage and strength not only in disclosing the abuse, but during the course of the trial. During the week-long trial, her mother, many members of the defendant’s church, and other family friends appeared in court in support of the defendant. Yet, despite all of the hostility she faced from her own family for disclosing Dukulah’s brutal assaults, she remained resilient during her testimony.
“I want to commend this extremely brave young woman,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “Not only did she heroically face her attacker in court, she had to pay an unimaginable price for that heroism. This poor girl lost most of her support system, including her own mother, for simply testifying about the horrific abuse she had to endure. At a time when it is difficult for my office to get witnesses to non-violent crimes to come to court, her bravery should serve as an example to everyone in Philadelphia. I hope this verdict gives her a sense of validation, and I hope the knowledge that her voice was heard helps her as she continues to make her future. I would also like to commend ADA Branwen McNabb and ADA Elizabeth Fischer of my Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit who successfully prosecuted this very difficult case.”
The defendant now faces a mandatory minimum of 10 to 20 years incarceration, and a maximum of 64 to 128 years of incarceration. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 29, 2014 in courtroom 1102.