Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl and was released on bail Monday after pleading not guilty.
Kipruto was charged with what is referred to as “defilement” in Kenyan law — sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 18. Because of the girl’s age, Kipruto faces at least 20 years in prison if convicted, according to Kenya’s sexual offences laws.
The 25-year-old Kipruto, who is a policeman, was charged in a courthouse in Kapsabet, a town in the high-altitude Rift Valley region that is famous for producing a stream of world-class distance runners. He wore a red sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head in an attempt to hide his face from photographers at the courthouse. He was released on $1,800 US bail.
Kipruto is alleged to have had intercourse with the girl on Oct. 20 and 21, according to the charge sheet, and was first arrested on Nov. 11. Kenyan media reported that the girl had disappeared from her home and had stayed at Kipruto’s house for three days.
Kipruto won gold in the 3,000-metre steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He followed that up with back-to-back victories at the world championships in 2017 and 2019.
He hasn’t competed this season. He withdrew from the Diamond League meet in Monaco in August after testing positive for the coronavirus.