Step-father sentenced for statutory rape

A Phoenix man has to serve jail time for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. The 35-year-old man was found guilty and sentenced to six years at the Verulam Regional Court on Thursday, July 27.

The statutory rape incidents apparently begun in March 2016 whereby the step-father absconded with the victim and embarked insexual intercourse, both oral and verbal and indulged in alcohol and smoking dagga. In August 2016, he was formerly charged and convicted to 12 years suspended sentence.

Despite receiving the 12 years suspended sentence, in November, the man absconded with the victim yet again and embarked in the same activities with her in a house in Brookdale.

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He was subsequently arrested at the same residence when the police attended a stabbing incident. Upon probing what the victim was doing at the said residence, police discovered that she had been brought to the house ‘as entertainment’.

Police officers further made enquiries with the victim’s mother and discovered that she had been missing for three weeks. Concurrently, the victim was taken with the parents and a criminal case was opened against the perpetrator. Investigating officer, Sgt Yugen Pakkiri, said due to the ordeal the victim went through, it impacted negatively on her schooling.

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“This should be a stern warning to all adults that children in our society should be protected from harm and as adults, we need to impart wisdom with the youth and not prey on their vulnerability. This would be a warning to would-be offenders not to indulge in illicit activities with minors as the youth of our society should be nurtured as they are our future leaders,” said Sgt Pakkiri.

When handing down the sentence, Prosecutor Ishara Sewnarayan said it was a serious offence in that it was an abuse of power on the offender’s part. Sewnarayan said due to the vast age difference and that the victim was still very young, she was easily manipulated.

“He was a step-father, a person who was entrusted to care for her as his own child, however, he took advantage of her vulnerability. Therefore, it is aggravating because he re-offended with the same victim under a year. He shows that he disregarded the law and persisted in engaging in the same transgression,” said Sewnarayan. Magistrate J Naidoo found the step-father guilty and sentenced him to six years in prison.

Article: Mbali Khubisa 

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