Elderly disabled man sexually assaulted 5-year-old girl
The man, 64, was the boyfriend of the child’s mother and could not be identified to safeguard the child’s identity. He was earlier sentenced to an effective 12 year jail sentence after being convicted of sexual assault. The jail sentence was put on hold pending the outcome of his appeal proceedings.
The man, only identified as “DB”, appealed against both his conviction and sentence and maintained he had not touched the child or exposed his private parts to her. But the girl described in detail to the court, the man’s private parts, which he had exposed to her in his car. DB’s response to this was that “most children are exposed to obscene material on television, the internet and in the print media at a tender age. A 5-year-old would thus know what male private parts looked like”.
In rejecting the man’s appeal, Judge Nomsa Khumalo ordered that he immediately report to jail to start serving his jail sentence.
She said all fingers pointed to the man as the culprit and she rejected his suggestion that the child learned from the media or from watching television what a male organ looked like.
Witnesses earlier testified before the lower court in Pretoria how they found the man sitting in his car, with his fingers in the child’s private parts, while he exposed his parts to her. He had covered her mouth with his other hand.
The matter was reported to the police and he was arrested. The child’s mother testified that she had hosted her girlfriends that night and they were playing cards. Her boyfriend, who was also there at the time, said he was leaving and he went to his car. He told the mother to send the child to the car to say goodbye to him.
When the mother realised the child had not come back after some time, she went out to the car and saw what was happening. She dragged the child off the man’s lap, where they sat on the front seat.
The mother shouted and demanded to know what was happening. The other women ran out and stood next to the car. The shaken man sped off.
The child testified that she was told by her mother to bid the man farewell at the car, which she did. According to her he picked her up and placed her on his lap, before he indecently assaulted her.
She said she could not scream for help as he held her mouth closed.
The man, on the other hand, had a different version.
He claimed that his dog was locked inside the car and that it ran out when he opened the door. According to him the child caught the dog and brought it back to him.
He was, however, at a loss to explain why the child would be on his lap when she had only tried to put the dog back into the car.
DB also objected to his “harsh” punishment of 12 years in jail, especially given the fact that he is disabled. He said he would “not be able to function properly at a jail which was not disability friendly”.
The man said that if his conviction was confirmed, he should receive correctional supervision (house arrest) as a punishment.
The judge, however, also rejected this. She said the victim was a vulnerable child who had been exploited by a much older man whom she trusted. She said his disability did not justify keeping him out of jail.