The Nelspruit Sexual Offenses Court on Thursday convicted a 31-year-old man from Salubindza Trust, near Numbi gate, Mpumalanga for raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter and sentenced him to 22 years’ direct imprisonment.
The Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority’s Regional Spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, said the accused was in love with the victim’s mother and was living together in Salubindza Trust at the time of the incident.
“The victim’s mother visited her family over Easter weekend in 2017 and left the victim with the accused. “While she was sleeping with other children, the accused undressed and raped her,” said Nyuswa.
According to Nyuswa the victim reported the incident to her mother and sister and the accused was eventually arrested.
The accused was eventually arrested and released on bail, but absconded.
A warrant for his arrest was issued, and he was later taken into custody.
In denying the allegations, the suspect claimed that the victim had falsely implicated him.
State Prosecutor Antionette Nkosi testified on behalf of the victim, the first report, and the victim’s aunt, saying that a medical report confirmed that the victim sustained injuries during sexual assault.
In this case, the court found the evidence credible, and the accused was found guilty as charged.
As an aggravating factor, the state argued to the court that offences of this nature are prevalent in this country, where victims are raped by their own fathers.
Following an evaluation of all the relevant factors, the court sentenced the accused to 22 years of direct imprisonment.
Despite acknowledging the conviction, NPA says it’s committed to fighting gender-based violence vigorously.