Pretoria - A North Gauteng High Court has dismissed a child rapist’s request for a lesser sentence because his 5-year-old victim was not a virgin and had probably been raped before.
Ronnie Motshaba argued that his crime could not have had such a great physical impact on her.
He was appealing against his 10-year jail sentence.
But Judge Johan Louw said the man was lucky he did not get a much heavier sentence.
Referring to the submission by Motshaba’s advocate, the judge said: “Surely a little girl of 5 will be traumatised each time she is raped, should she be so unfortunate for it to happen more than once.”
Nor did the judge fall for the argument that no victim impact report was submitted to court to state how the child was doing.
“If such a report had been obtained, it would have made matters worse, rather than better for the appellant,” the judge said.
The child was raped in front of an 8-year-old boy whom Motshaba had undressed only to discover he was a boy.
According to the boy, he witnessed Motshaba raping his friend by penetrating her, but the little girl was unsure and said he tried to rape her in this manner, but he then inserted his finger into her.
In terms of the Sexual Offences Act, any kind of penetration is regarded as rape.
A life imprisonment sentence is mandatory where a child under the age of 16 is raped and where no mitigating circumstances could be found. But the judge remarked that the lower court, which initially sentenced the man, took into account that he had only used a finger.