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Bloemfontein - A Free State mother convicted of raping her teenage son was herself sexually molested by family and friends, the Bloemfontein Regional Court heard on Tuesday.
The woman’s Dutch Reformed Church minister testified in mitigation of sentencing in front of regional magistrate Jan Greyvenstein in the matter.
The minister said he met the woman just before her arrest in March and she was very emotional.
“She told me she knew she was wrong and she showed deep remorse.”
The minister could not be identified as this could help identity the boy.
He said the mother wanted to speak to her son and ask for his forgiveness at that stage, but she could not. The boy had already been moved from his home and was staying with family.
“She admitted to everything and she would accept whatever the (court) ruling may be,” said the minister.
The 51-year-old Bloemfontein mother was found guilty on Monday of raping her son. In her plea explanation read to court, she admitted to having had sex with the boy without his consent.
She admitted she raped the 17-year-old boy from December 2007 to January this year. On Tuesday, the woman appeared in court with one arm and leg chained together. She continuously wiped tears from her face.
The rapes became public in January when the boy told his story to a psychologist, after being admitted for treatment.
Replying to the magistrate’s questions, the minister said the woman was willing to serve a prison sentence as punishment. However, she was also a victim, he said.
“She was also a victim, as a young girl.”
The minister said a life imprisonment sentence would not be in the best interest of the boy or his mother.
“I do not think a life sentence would be fair. What happened to her as a young child was also not fair.”
He said the woman had suffered her own abuse for almost 40 years. The minister said punishment should involve some psychological treatment for mother and son separately, which should lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.
“They are both sad at what had happened.”
The court heard the family went through several marriage problems, severe depression and joblessness since 2001.
Sentencing proceedings will resume on Wednesday.