A Ugandan court on Tuesday remanded in custody an American couple charged with child trafficking in a case that might see them serve life in prison if convicted.
Nicholas Spencer and his wife Mackenzie Leigh Spencer allegedly tortured and held a 10-year-old boy in a small, cold room without clothes between 2020 and 2022, according to a charge sheet presented by the state prosecution service in December 2022.
According to the couple's lawyer, David Mpanga, they will return to court on February 2 to hear the progress of the state’s investigation.
''It has been adjourned to the 2nd of February and we will be here to hear the status of the investigation and when the case will be ready for committal to the High Court," Moanga said.
He added, “They are charged with aggravated trafficking and aggravated torture. The aggravated trafficking charge is only triable in the high court so the case today was for the court to monitor the progress of the investigation and to determine when the state will be ready to commit them to the High Court.''
The boy is one of the couple's three adopted children, who arrived in Uganda in 2017 to volunteer at a US-based nonprofit in the town of Jinja before moving to Naguru, an upmarket suburb of Kampala, to work in a start-up.