When Jonathan Ohene Nkunim was arrested, he turned to the investigative journalist whose work had led to the arrest and said:
“The last time you came, I wanted to confess to you, but I didn’t know whether I could trust you or not.”
The investigative journalist said little. Ohene Nkunim would go on a confession spree.
From the University of Ghana Law Faculty, where he was arrested, to his residence and health facility in Gbawe, he confessed to the police in the car.
At the Nature’s Hand Therapeutic Centre, where he had used his practice as a ploy to sexually assault, scores of women, he did not stop the confession.
“What have I not done? Where have I not gone?” he said, his hands flying in despair.
He explained that he had taken steps to tame his unusual sexual desires, but he had failed. There was a time he paused his practice for some time, he claimed, just to deal with the unbridled sexual desires. But that did not work.
So, he continued to unleash it on unsuspecting and desperate women in search of relief from agonising pain and in search of the fruit of the womb. After sleeping with the women in the treatment cubicle, he said he sometimes wept.
“Sometimes, I cry and my workers think, probably, I’m praying. It’s guilt and regret. It’s guilt and regret, and I’ve worked on it,” he said.
“Is it spiritual?” the investigative journalist asked. Jonathan had projected himself on social media as a very spiritual Christian.
“I won’t say it’s spiritual,” he replied and blamed it on the neuromuscular diagnosis method.
“You know, the technique I told you about the day you came[here],” he reminded the journalist about his brand of diagnosis, which he did by touching the veins on the back of his patients’ palms.
“The neurodiagnostic—I realised that when I do it continuously, I get sexually unstable,” he said.
“It’s random. It’s not like every woman I see,” he told the investigative reporter. And as if to explain his guilt away, he added that he did not sleep with some of the women who visited his facility.
His victims included a couple who had gone to Nature’s Hand Therapeutic Centre in 2018 to seek his help to be able to conceive. He ended up sleeping with the woman. She felt guilty about the affair and confessed to her husband. And that was how the seven-year-old marriage ended.
A young woman was on the verge of suicide because the heart-wrenching pain from her spinal cord convinced her that ending her life was a better option. Someone offered her a lifeline, Jonathan Ohene Nkunim’s hotline.
Ohene Nkunim raped her the first day she entered the facility in pain and lay on the massage bed.
He left incriminating evidence in his WhatsApp conversation with her after the ordeal. He admitted he did not seek her permission before having sex with her.
Nkunim claimed the procedure he wanted to perform required sexual arousal. He said he should have “sensitised” her before proceeding. Nkunim then apologised profusely. But he did not stop.
The next time she visited, he had sex with her. It happened until she left for another facility to continue the treatment.
These and other victims had suffered silently because of the shame associated with their ordeal–sex. They said they feared to speak up in a system that blamed the victims rather than the perpetrator. Despite their fears, they eventually found their voices and opened up to a journalist they felt they could trust.
On the day of his arrest, Nkunim said three months earlier, he had taken steps to deal with his sexual desires and was now in control.
It was during the same period when the investigative journalist first walked into his facility and told him about his investigation into the alleged sexual assault of women who visited Nature’s Hand Therapeutic Centre.
After an initial outright denial, he later admitted to the mild ones such as the woman whose affair resulted in a divorce. He denied the serious allegation of the woman who said she was raped at the facility.
“If it were to be true, I should be in jail right now,” he said.
He said there was never any sexual encounter between him and that woman. The woman had fallen for him, he claimed, but to escape the temptation to sleep with her, he discontinued the treatment.
But there is a video of him having sex with the woman in his facility. The woman said she recorded one of her sessions when it became clear that Nkunim was not stopping despite his assurances.
She was suicidal and had psyched herself to endure whatever it would take for her not to be paralysed. And that worked to Nkunim’s advantage until she could not endure it any longer.
When The Fourth Estate began its investigations, it sent a female undercover agent who went to seek treatment at Nature’s Hand Therapeutic Centre.
On the phone, Jonathan Ohene Nkunim diagnosed her with lumbar spondylosis after asking her to bend and tell him where the pain was. She lied to him, lying down, that the pain was felt in her lower back. The condition is a wear and tear of the lower back spinal discs.
That’s how Jonathan Ohene Nkunim, who would lie to the undercover agent that he was a medical doctor, diagnosed her.
He later claimed that he was a physiotherapist when the years he gave as attending the University of Ghana did not match the number of years medical training takes in the country.
But The Fourth Estate later found out he was not a physiotherapist as he claimed. The Fourth Estate also found out that he had not worked at the physiotherapy unit at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital as he claimed.
When The Fourth Estate’s lead investigative journalist confronted him, he admitted he had lied to Stephanie, the undercover agent, to inspire her.
He promised to tell her the truth on her next visit to Nature’s Hand Therapeutic Centre.
“I call her Madam Detective,” Ohene Nkunim said of Stephanie because the WhatsApp conversations he’d had with her were very probing.
When the journalist left the facility, a phone in his pocket was notified of a WhatsApp message. It was a message from Jonathan Ohene Nkunim, saying he had done “nasty” things. He said he had lied about his credentials and asked the recipient to forgive him.
His intended recipient was Stephanie. But the actual recipient was The Fourth Estate’s investigative journalist who just left his facility. He was the one who had been extracting information from Ohene Nkunim in the name of Stephanie.
“What I have done is terrible,” he said on camera on the day of his arrest.
The Fourth Estate’s sources at the police say he did not deny the allegations levelled against him when the police interrogated him. He was asked how many women he had violated and he said he had lost count.
On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Jonathan Ohene Nkunim was charged with rape when he made his first appearance in court.
He was denied bail and is due to reappear at the Kaneshie District Court, near the Ministry of Information, on October 12, 2021, at 11 a.m.