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The 12-year-old North Coast girl who was repeatedly raped by a visiting Indian priest believes her life has been ruined forever and prays for death to release her from the burden she carries.
In a written letter to court, the girl said that the incident had broken her, destroyed her dignity and reduced her to a sex object.
In the Verulam Regional Court on Thursday, prosecutor Sagra Subroyen had relatives and curious onlookers in tears as she read the girl’s letter, in aggravation of sentence.
The girl, who was 11 years old when the sexual abuse started, said it felt horrible to recall the events of the past two years and that the memories were etched permanently within her brain and body.
“Swami destroyed my peace,” she wrote. “I thought I was being healed of epilepsy. Instead, I was used as an object to satisfy Swami’s lust for young flesh. I trusted Swami with my life and now I have been shipwrecked. I feel dirty, unwanted, rejected and hopeless.”
In court on Thursday, it emerged the young girl had given up on Hinduism and had turned to another religion.
In the letter, she said she had an intense fear of males and felt nervous, agitated and unsafe when any man was near her.
She said she did not know how, or if ever, she would overcome this fear.
“I have developed a sense of deep distrust for all males and have a rough time coping in school. I lose concentration on my studies and cannot hold my mind to understand what the teacher is saying. I sit in class and wonder how to remove these stains in my life.”
She said she felt trapped and had no self-confidence, self-esteem or self-worth. The rape, she said, had brought her disgrace and would continue to haunt her for the rest of her life.
“Meal times are particularly difficult. Each time I try to enjoy my meal, the terrible thoughts enter my mind and make my stomach churn. I feel nauseous.”
She had not only lost her appetite for food, but for all good things in life, she said.
The girl, who has isolated herself from family and friends, said she felt inferior and wished the earth would open up and swallow her, forever.
“I have sleepless nights and get up sweating, sometimes screaming from nightmares. My peace has been destroyed for ever by the very person I respected and worshipped. Swami destroyed my mind and damaged my body for good. I have been made to feel worthless.”
She said she doubted any drug or medicine could erase her painful memories. “I have to bear the terrible pain – both mental and physical – for the rest of my life and go through life like a leper.”
She described herself as a girl in distress with no help in sight.
For the past year she had withdrawn from all of life’s activities while her teenage friends bounced around with peace and joy.
“Not all the detergents in the world can cleanse me. I have been… totally messed up for good,” she said. “Maybe death would release me from the burden I carry. God be with me…”