Gregory Dow, 60, of Lancaster, is accused of four counts of violating a U.S. law against sexual contact with minors in foreign countries, U.S. Attorney William McSwain said. There likely are other victims, investigators said, but tracking the children who lived in the orphanage has been difficult.
Dow is accused of abuse from 2013 until 2017, when prosecutors say he fled back to the United States to avoid prosecution in Kenya. The Dow Family Children’s Home in Boito, in a rural area west of Nairobi, closed in September 2017.
At one point, the orphanage housed more than 80 children, many of them with diseases, according to the LNP newspaper.
One girl said Dow accused her of having sex with someone else and told her “that she therefore had to have sex with him as well,” according to the government’s detention motion. Another told agents she tried to brace herself against him but couldn’t stop him, the document says.
Dow “purported to be a Christian missionary who would care for these orphans. They called him ‘Dad.’ But instead of being a father figure for them, he preyed on their youth and vulnerability,” prosecutors said in the court filing.
Dow “used force and coercion to perpetrate the most heinous of crimes, preying on vulnerable children for his own sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote.
There are also allegations of physical abuse “inflicted under the guise of strict discipline.”
Dow told LNP this year that he had not done anything wrong and that he would get a lawyer if Kenyan authorities attempted to extradite him.
“There’s not much I can do. I know the truth,” he told the paper in a January story. “They made the accusations falsely, and they got out of hand.”
A federal judge in Philadelphia on Friday ordered Gregory Dow to remain jailed until a detention hearing next week. A public defender will represent him.