A 27-year-old Zambian faces court action Oct. 14 on sodomy charges after a sexual encounter while wearing women’s clothes.
Hatch Bril, a hairdresser in Mongu, western Zambia, could face from seven years to life in prison, if convicted.
Bril was arrested after being reported to police by taxi driver Abraham Chilemu, age 19, who said he had been deceived into sex.
Chilemu said he had the sexual encounter with Bril at Chilemu’s home after he saw Bril dressed in female attire and “instantly fell in love.”
In Zambia, anyone who “has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” or “permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature” is liable to imprisonment for 15 years to life. Attempted sodomy is punishable by seven to 14 years in prison.
Newspaper articles in Zambia did not clarify whether Bril would self-describe as a cross-dressing man or as a trans woman. The specifics of the sexual encounter were also unclear. The charge against Bril was variously described as sodomy and as attempted sodomy.
According to the Lusaka Times, Bril allegedly enticed Chilemu “to have unnatural sex with him.” Chilemu apparently was a willing participant in the encounter, but does not face criminal charges.
Bril, however, says that Chilemu “forced himself on” Bril.
According to the Lusaka Times:
“[Chilemu] told the court that he took the alleged female to his home for sex in Imwiko Compound after a few beers at a nearby night club.
“Upon reaching home, the so-called woman was asked to undress but ‘she’ hesitated but later asked him to switch off the lights before ‘she’ could take off the clothes.
“He revealed to the court that whilst in the act he discovered that his lover was not a woman after noticed some mannish features on ‘her’ body.
“The complainant has further disclosed that upon seeing that he towed Bril to his Aunt for reinforcement and later reported the case to Police.”
A Daily Mail article contains a brief description of Bril’s version of the encounter: “Bril said the man forced himself on ‘her’, adding that the sexual encounter happened in his car and not in his house.”
The taxi driver told the court that he reported Bril to police because he felt “cheated.” According to the Daily Mail, he stated:
“He proposed love to Bril and ‘she’ accepted to go with him to his house in Imwiko Stage Two. The man testified that on arrival at his house, he and Bril went straight to the bedroom and ‘she’ advised him to switch off the lights after he told ‘her’ to take off ‘her’ clothes.
“He, however, said that Bril only took off the leggings and left ‘her’ top and bra on. The man testified that he discovered that Bril was a man.
“[Chilemu] also said that his attempt to touch the breasts of his ‘lover’ also proved futile as the chest was flat.
“He said it was at this point that he grabbed Bril and drove to his aunt’s place for reinforcement, before taking ‘her’ to the police station.”
After the court session on Oct. 8, Bril was returned to jail, but was granted the right to bail. Magistrate Derrick Mate Chingumbe ruled that Bril could be released on bail of K2,000 in cash (about US$170) and two working sureties, according to the Daily Mail.
A Lusaka Times headline labeled Bril a prostitute, although the text of the article did not support that description. The Daily Mail labeled Bril a “gay casanova.”
The Lusaka Times labeled Chilemu a “victim of sodomy” who “was deceived by Hatch [Bril] into sodomy.”
Bril has been in custody since the arrest on Oct. 24, according to the Lusaka Voice.
- Male prostitute in court for attempting to sodomise his taxi driver (Oct. 9, 2015, Lusaka Times)
- Gay casanova dragged to court (Oct. 9, 2015, Daily Mail)
- Mongu man denies sodomy charge (Oct. 2, 2015, Daily Mail)
- Mongu man dresses as a woman, sodomize taxi driver (Sept. 30, 2015, Lusaka Voice)
Previous coverage of LGBTI-related cases in Zambia
- Zambian judge acquits 2 men in homosexuality case (April 14, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Zambia seeks to overturn acquittal of anti-AIDS activist (Feb. 8, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Zambia frees 2 allegedly gay men after year in prison (July 3, 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Zambia: Acquittal for opponent of anti-gay laws (Feb. 25, 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Zambian charge: Defendant’s anti-AIDS advocacy was immoral (Oct. 30, 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Politically motivated trial of Zambian AIDS fighter (Oct. 28, 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Zambian activist must stand trial for opposing anti-gay law (76crimes.com)
- 43 anti-LGBT violations in Zambia; ‘accident waiting to happen’ (76crimes.com)
- Zambia VP after gay-rights arrest: ‘Live and let live’ (76crimes.com)
- Zambia arrests activist after gay rights appeal on TV (April 7, 2013, 76crimes.com)