US couple charged with aggravated torture

According to police, an American couple who were caring for a 10-year-old boy in Uganda have been accused of “aggravated torture.”

Both 32-year-olds, Nicholas Spencer and Mackenzie Leigh Mathias Spencer, were charged on Friday and remanded to Luzira Prison, a high security prison outside of Kampala, according to a statement from the police on Tuesday.
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On Wednesday, they were scheduled to show up in court for a bail hearing.

According to the police, the couple is caring for three Ugandan children, including the victim.

According to the charges, between 2020 and 2022, they allegedly “constantly tormented” the boy, who attended a Kampala school for special needs students, with neighbors raising the alarm.

CCTV footage was discovered when authorities searched the residence.

“Our team of investigators established, that the couple kept the victim barefoot, and naked throughout the day, would occasionally make him squat in an awkward position, with his head facing the floor and hands spread out widely, he spent his nights on a wooden platform, without a mattress or beddings and was served cold meals from the fridge,” the police statement said.

“We believe, the victim could have endured more severe acts of torture, away from the camera,” it added.

The police statement urged social workers to constantly monitor the wellbeing of vulnerable children and those in foster homes, saying: “What happened to the victim, in the last couple of years, probably could have been prevented, if they had closely monitored the well-being of the foster children.”

The couple arrived in Uganda country in 2017 to volunteer at a United States-based non-profit in the town of Jinja before moving to Naguru, an upmarket Kampala suburb, to work at a start-up, police said.

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