Kimberley - In one of the harshest sentences ever handed down to an offender in the Northern Cape, a serial rapist from Kimberley was on Thursday sentenced to seven life terms in prison as well as a further combined 388 years imprisonment, after being found guilty of 32 counts of rape and two counts of attempted rape.
Christian Cornelius Julies, a 47-year-old Galeshewe resident, was sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court by Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo.
Julies was this week found guilty of 34 charges of a sexual nature, ranging from the rape of minor girls to rape with aggravating circumstances and attempted rape, committed in various towns in the Northern Cape and the North West over a period of more than four years.
The rapes took place in Galeshewe, Ritchie, Olifantshoek, Upington, Kathu, Kuruman, Postmasburg, Pampierstad and Mahikeng from August 2011 until Julies’ arrest on February 22 2015.
During this time, Julies travelled roughly 3 210 kilometres between different towns, where he raped his victims as he “criss-crossed the country and spun his spider web while running as a fugitive from justice”.
The accused targeted his victims in isolated areas and threatened to kill them, beat them up and raped them.
The female victims are between the ages of 13 and 23.
Kgomo, during Thursday’s historic sentencing, highlighted the “nightmares” that Julies’ victims had to endure as he quickly went from being civil, where he was described as “tall, dark and handsome with a saintly demeanour”, to a “ghastly monster” who threatened to kill victims if they screamed for help or reported him and, besides violently raping them, he also assaulted many of his victims.
The Judge President recalled the horrific testimony of the victims, who included several 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, some of whom were still virgins and others who were dressed in school uniforms when they were raped.
Julies also assaulted most of his victims by slapping, hitting and dragging them, while also threatening them with a knife and calling them “bitches”.
Kgomo said that Julies never used a condom, and even saw the request of some victims to do so as a “red flag” and bluntly refused.
Kgomo went on to say that Julies was found to be a “serial rapist” who “never slept, crawled the streets day and night and criss-crossed the Northern Cape and North West” in search of women and girls to torment and rape.
“If he was not stopped the devastation of lives would have continued,” Kgomo stated.
He added that Julies showed absolutely no remorse during court proceedings and sat “stone-faced” as victims recalled their ordeals.
“He maintained that he was implicated falsely and described himself as a charming gentleman who obtained consent from the victims,” Kgomo said.
Before handing down the sentence, Kgomo added that Julies could not be considered as a first offender because he committed 34 offences.
“The fact that he has no previous convictions, counts for nothing. There exist no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the minimum sentences prescribed for the offences he was found guilt of,” Kgomo stated.
Julies was then sentenced to seven life sentences for seven counts of rape, 16 years imprisonment each for a further seven counts of rape, 15 years imprisonment each for 17 counts of rape, 10 years imprisonment for one count of attempted rape and a further 11 years for another count of attempted rape.
Kgomo ordered that all the sentences run concurrently.
It was further ordered that Julies’ name be recorded in the Register of Sex Offenders. He may also never be employed to work with children or hold any position where he could access children or places where children are present.
After the sentencing procedure, Kgomo indicated that this was the harshest sentence imposed on any perpetrator in the Northern Cape High Court that he was aware of since 1998.
Several of the young victims, who were present in court on Thursday, said they were “very happy” about the sentence.
“For the first time since he raped us, we will sleep well tonight, knowing that he is behind bars. We are happy and relieved that he will not be able to terrorise and destroy the lives of innocent girls and women anymore. Justice has been served and this sentence will help us to heal, and others be safe. We can now go on with our lives knowing we are not victims, but survivors,” they stated.
Diamond Fields Advertiser