A Spanish model has been put on the spot after he posted photos showing him indecently touching an underage girl at a children’s shelter in Mfangano Island in Homabay County.
Daniel Illescas, a 27-year-old model from Barcelona, posted some of the photos on his Instagram account where he has a following of 956,000 followers sparking sharp criticism from lobby groups who have termed his behavior as ‘concerning’.
In one of the photos that has since been deleted from his Instagram account, Illescas lies topless on the underage girl who was also topless. In other the photos that are still on his Instagram account, he poses topless exposing the underage girl’s naked torso while in another he poses topless while touching the same girl on a beach.
The photos were taken at a shelter ran by the Mfangano support program for orphans and Vulnerable children in collaboration with Spanish charity Asociacion Indigo.
According to its website, the shelter hosts children who have been robbed of their parents and guardians by the Hiv/Aids epidemic.
Though the age of the underage girl whose name we have redacted for protection purposes has not yet been established, according to Asociacion Indigo’s website, the shelter hosts children aged between Seven and Ten years.
Ugandan lobby group No white Saviour which seeks to discourage Africans from accepting foreign help has termed Daniel’s behavior with the particular girl as ‘very concerning’.
“We have had concerns about this man and his conduct with children at an orphanage in Kenya for a while now, after being sent content posted to his Instagram highlight labeled “My Princess.” The lobby group said in a statement on Tuesday.
The lobby group has accused Instagram of failing to protect the child’s privacy.
“It’s not hard to imagine the kind of alarms it would set off if we replaced XXXX with a shirtless white girl that Daniel claimed to be helping. Instagram would take seriously the reports of such content and it is likely that Mr. Illescas would be investigated for what so many of us are concerned with which is a deeply inappropriate relationship. It is high time we start seeing Black children protected in the same way the world safeguards white children.” The lobby group added.
According to Mr. Illescas’s Instagram account, he first visited the shelter in 2018 and he is running a campaign to raise sh. 1.5 million to build a kitchen and dining room for the kids.
The money is set to be raised through the sale of his clothing line dubbed ‘Be part of it’.
According to Philip Nzenge, the Mombasa county director of the Department of Children Services, this might be a case of child grooming with an aim of establishing emotional contact that will lead to sexual activity with a child in the future.
“The photos are very inappropriate and posting them on social media amounts to indecent exposure. It also looks like a case of child grooming” Nzenge told Baraka FM.
Currently, there is no law in Kenya that protects children from indecent exposure on social media.
The Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes act signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018 before being suspended, pending the hearing and determination of a suit filed by the Bloggers Association of Kenya, had recommended a maximum fine of sh. 20 million and a jail term of up to 25 years for anyone found guilty of sharing naked photos of a minor.
Baraka FM sent an email to Asociacion Indigo, in regards to his conduct but we had not received a response by the time of going to press.
Over the past two years, concerns have been raised over the rising cases of foreigners using charity activities as an avenue to sexually prowl on underage children.
Last year, fugitive missionary Gregory Dow was arrested in the US over defiling children in an orphanage in Bomet while in 2018, a court in Leeds jailed British pensioner Keith Morris for 18 years after finding him guilty of defiling two underage girls he had offered to help financially in Kilifi County.