BREAKING: Cedar Rapids man accused of Rwandan genocide sentenced - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BREAKING: Cedar Rapids man accused of Rwandan genocide sentenced

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A federal judge has sentenced a Cedar Rapids man convicted of fraud to get in the United States and accused of participating in Rwanda genocide to 15 years in prison.

Gervais Ngombwa was sentenced Thursday morning. This is a developing story. Stay with KWWL for updates. 


Gervais ("Ken") Ngombwa will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on March 2 in federal district court in Cedar Rapids. Ngombwa is convicted of naturalization fraud and for lying to federal agents. Federal officials also say Ngombwa participated in Rwandan genocide before coming to the United States in 1998.

ORIGINAL STORY (February 8):  A federal judge says a Cedar Rapids man who came to the United States from Rwanda as a refugee 1998 "actively participated in Rwandan genocide."

Gervais ("Ken") Ngombwa will be sentenced next month. 

Ngombwa attended Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids regularly with his family. 

Those who knew him say he is a good man and is being treated wrongly. 

Ngombwa is accused of lying to gain entry into the United States as a refugee. 

Some say Ngombwa didn't fully understand because of language barriers. 

Westminster church member Bill Moss says Ngombwa helped save his own family in Rwanda. 

“They stayed in the house because they were scared to death," Moss says. 

“He got all of his 7 children out of there and into the jungle they lived on water and mud puddles and berries off of trees for about ten days while they moved at night," he added. 

Others who know Ngombwa and have heard about him allegedly being involved in genocide have reached out to KWWL and said perhaps he was trying to protect his own family. 

In 2006 a home was dedicated to Ngombwa and his family by Habitat for Humanity. 

The court says Ngombwa intentionally set his home on fire and filed a false insurance claim in 2013. 

In addition, officials said Ngombwa made several incorrect statements as he progressed through the refugee resettlement process, including:

- Falsely claiming to be the brother of a moderate Hutu leader

- Falsely claiming to be related to other adult refugees

- Failing to disclose the names of numerous relatives living in Rwanda

- Falsely claiming certain children were his own biological children with his wife Antoinette Mukakabanda

- Falsely claiming he had not been married to anyone other than Mukakabanda

- Falsely denying he had relatives in the military

- Falsely claiming he, his wife, and his mother-in-law had been beaten by government forces in 1990 before the genocide began

Ngombwa's United States citizenship has been taken away by a judge, he is being held at the Linn County jail. 

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