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Steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto charged with having sex with a minor

The reigning Olympic and world steeplechase champion will face at least 20 years in prison if found guilty

Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, the defending Olympic and world champion in the 3,000m steeplechase, has been charged with having sex with a minor, according to a report from the Associated Press. Kipruto pleaded not guilty at a preliminary trial in Kapsabet, a town about an hour away from his home of Eldoret, and he was released on bail. He has been charged with “defilement,” which in Kenyan law is the equivalent to statutory rape. The alleged victim is 15, and if Kipruto is convicted, he will face at least 20 years in prison. 

Kipruto, 25, works as a policeman in Kenya in addition to being a professional runner. He was originally arrested on November 11 for allegedly having intercourse with the 15-year-old girl on October 20 and 21. According to the AP article, Kenyan media outlets reported that the girl had been missing for three days, during which she stayed at Kipruto’s house. Following his trial in Kapsabet, he was released on cash bail of $1,800. 

While he pleaded not guilty in court on Monday, Kipruto did not say more, saving any arguments for later in the trial. 

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Kipruto won gold at his first Olympics in 2016, taking the victory with an Olympic record time of 8:03.28. A year later, he won his first world crown at the world championships in London, and in 2019, he successfully defended his title in Doha. He currently sits at 14th on the all-time 3,000m steeplechase list.