American missionary Gregory Dow has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for defiling young girls at an orphanage in Bomet that the 61-year-old operated at the time with his wife.

Dow was convicted after he admitted during a hearing at a federal court in Pennsylvania to committing the crimes between the year 2013 and 2017 in Kenya.

According to the charges, he confessed to starting to sexually abuse the young girls while two of them were aged 11, another 12, and a third was aged 13.

The missionary “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,” US prosecutors told the court.

They added, “He used force and coercion to perpetrate the most heinous of crimes, preying on vulnerable children for his own sexual gratification.”

The Dow Family's Children's Home located in Boito, Bomet County was founded in 2008 but was closed in 2017 following the exposure of the sexual abuse cases.

Dow fled the country and returned to the US at a time Kenyan security officials were looking for him to execute an arrest and prosecution for sexual abuse.

He was later apprehended by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents and police in the US in July 2019 and charged.

In 1996, Dow had pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Iowa, US and was sentenced to probation for two years and directed to register as a sex offender and it remains unclear how he was allowed to open a children’s home in Kenya.