In his early 20s, Kenyan Athlete Julius Ndirangu had it all – money, fame, and the honor of representing his country on the international stage.
However, a chance encounter at a nightclub would drastically alter the trajectory of his life, leading to his arrest and a subsequent five-year sentence at Naivasha Maximum Security Prison.
During an interview with a local TV station, Ndirangu candidly shared the harrowing journey that saw him transition from being a successful athlete earning millions in Japan to serving time behind bars in his homeland.
His ordeal began when he returned to Kenya from Japan in 2021, with aspirations of reuniting with his family and friends and preparing for a racing event in the United States.
On October 24, 2022, Ndirangu followed his regular morning training routine at a camp in Nyandarua County. Afterward, he decided to join his cousins at a local club for some enjoyment.
In that club, a fateful encounter changed the course of his life. Ndirangu was captivated by the club’s ambiance and, in particular, by a girl sitting across from him.
Their prolonged eye contact eventually prompted the girl to approach him. They engaged in conversation, shared pleasantries, and contemplated extending their interaction beyond the club’s confines.
Their initial meeting evolved into a close bond, with Ndirangu and the lady frequently spending time together. As their friendship deepened, the young woman confided in him, revealing her personal struggles and hardships.
Touched by her predicament, Ndirangu made the compassionate decision to employ her to care for his grandmother at their family home.
He recalled, “We became friends and would see each other from time to time. She approached me and informed me that she needed help to raise her 3-year-old child. Touched by her plight, I decided to employ her to work in the house, taking care of my grandmother at our family home. She told me that she was 19 years old at the time.”
However, Ndirangu’s world came crashing down when he received an unexpected call while practicing at the camp. He rushed home to find police officers waiting at his doorstep.
They arrested him and escorted him to Kipipiri police station, accusing him of getting involved with an underage girl. Despite his protests that she was above the legal age, he soon learned that she was only 17 years old.
Ndirangu found himself charged with defilement, a crime he vehemently denied committing. The athlete regretted ever crossing paths with the young girl.