A Russian citizen sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment on counts of rape and human trafficking involving five teenage girls died at Windhoek Correctional Facility on Friday.
The inmate, Alexander Krylov, is suspected to have ended his own life, the commissioner general of the Namibian Correctional Service, Raphael Hamunyela, said yesterday.
Hamunyela said a fellow inmate found Krylov dead in a shower next to their shared cell on Friday morning.
He said Krylov’s death would be investigated by the prison authorities.
Krylov was 62 years old.
He was sentenced to an effective prison term of 35 years at the end of a trial in the Windhoek High Court in March this year, after he and a co-accused, Anna Engelbrecht, had been convicted on multiple charges linked to the sexual exploitation of teenage girls at Walvis Bay.
Krylov was found guilty on 10 charges o f rape, 10 counts of child trafficking and one count of supplying tobacco products to a person under the age of 18 years in connection with a series of incidents during which he had intercourse with underage girls at Walvis Bay between January and October 2017.
One of the girls was 13 years old at the time, one was 14, two were 15 years old, and one was 16 at the time of the incidents.
Krylov admitted during the trial that he had intercourse with the girls, but claimed he had paid them for sex, that the girls were willing participants in the encounters, and that he did not know that any of the girls were underage at the time.
The court found that Engelbrecht introduced the girls to Krylov for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and that she also caused him to commit sexual acts with the girls under coercive circumstances. She was sentenced to an effective prison term of 20 years at the end of her and Krylov’s trial.
Krylov was a marine pilot by profession and was employed by the Namibian Ports Authority at Walvis Bay from 2002.
He was arrested in October 2017 on the charges on which he was eventually to be convicted and sentenced, and was released on bail a month later. His bail was cancelled after he was found guilty in February this year.
Krylov told the court during a presentence hearing in February that he was the father of three adult children and had three grandchildren.
He also said during the trial that during his career as a seafarer he had become accustomed to a lifestyle that included visits to seamen’s clubs where sex could be obtained against payment.
Following their conviction, Krylov and Engelbrecht applied to be permitted to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s verdict and sentence.
Their application for leave to appeal was dismissed on 22 June in a ruling in which the court concluded that they did not have reasonable prospects for success with an appeal.