Child rapist jailed for 18 years

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Copy of DF sentenced 1012 a

Johnathan Sarel Williams, convicted on two counts of raping a five-year-old girl in 2011, was sentenced to an effective 18 years imprisonment. Picture: Danie Van der Lith

Kimberley - The 31-year-old Soul City man, Johnathan Sarel Williams, convicted on two counts of raping a five-year-old girl in 2011, was on Tuesday sentenced to an effective 18 years’ imprisonment.

Williams will spend the 18 years at Kimberley Correctional Services after seven years of his 25-year sentence was suspended for five years.

Handing down the sentence on Tuesday magistrate, Jesse Clarke, said that Williams’ antics in court last week, when he sobbed uncontrollably during an apology to the young victim and her mother, did nothing towards mitigating his sentence, but that other factors indicating remorse were taken into consideration.

Clarke said he only moved away from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment because he truly believed that Williams could be rehabilitated and was not a complete “monster” or inherently evil.

Clarke said although Williams did apologise for the rape he was not honest with the court, considering that he initially pleaded not guilty and forced the young victim and her family to come to court and relive their ordeal on the day the girl was raped. Williams further maintained his innocence on the second rape charge, saying he only penetrated with the child with his finger and not his penis.

Clarke found him guilty on both charges. He added that the fact that the child’s hymen did not tear did not make the act of raping a vulnerable child, whom the victim knew and trusted, any less severe.

Clarke also said that evidence by the child indicated that Williams apologised to her right after the incident and also took her home afterwards. He said that he would accept this, together with the fact that he didn’t leave her alone in the veld where he raped her and even worse, killed her, together with the fact that he was a first offender, as mitigating factors in the sentencing.

The magistrate said he also took into consideration that Williams had been in custody for two years and four months already.

As aggravating factors, Clarke noted that the victim knew Williams as a “brother” and that she had no reason to fear or mistrust him. He added that the child was left with extensive emotional trauma, as her mother testified that she suffered from nightmares after the incident and was even scared to be alone with her father.

Prosecutor, Cornelia Deetlefs during her heads of argument said she also believed that Williams could be rehabilitated and that he, especially considering the teachings of the late Nelson Mandela, could be given another chance by not receiving life imprisonment.

His defence lawyer, JC Bergh, added that the child had not sustained serious physical scarring during the rape and recommended a suspended sentence.

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