BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — A minister in Central African Republic was arrested this week on charges he raped a teenager earlier this year, a prosecutor confirmed Wednesday.
Romaric Vomitiade, the minister for tourism, arts and culture, was arrested Monday night and has been in custody since. He is accused of raping a 16-year-old while visiting Yaloke, in the country's northwest, in January. Vomitiade has denied the accusations, suggesting they are politically motivated.
Prosecutor Maurice Dibert Dollet said Wednesday that Vomitiade would soon be presented to a judge.
President Catherine Samba-Panza lifted the minister's diplomatic immunity last month to pave the way for the arrest.
Central African Republic has been rocked by violence since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition toppled the longtime president in 2013. Widespread human rights abuses committed by Seleka led to the formation of the anti-Balaka Christian militia and plunged the country into sectarian fighting.
Samba-Panza is now leading a transitional government that, along with a U.N. peacekeeping force, is trying to stabilize the country.