Kimberley - A father, who was found guilty of committing horrific acts of abuse against his own son and his stepdaughter, “abused his power”, according to a Kimberley magistrate.
The 33-year-old man, who cannot be identified in order to protect his two young victims, was day sentenced to life imprisonment and a further ten years imprisonment.
During his reign of terror, he assaulted his three-month-old son, resulting in the child becoming mentally disabled, and he also raped his 11-year-old stepdaughter twice, leaving her pregnant.
Magistrate Memory Qomoyi presided over the case.
The accused was found guilty on two charges of rape and one of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (assault GBH).
He was arrested in March last year on charges of rape after tests confirmed that his then 11-year-old stepdaughter was pregnant after the man raped her in 2015.
She underwent an abortion shortly afterwards.
She was raped on two separate occasions when her stepfather came into her room, pulling down her panties and forced himself upon her. This happened while he was living with the girl’s mother.
He also threatened to kill the girl if she told anyone about the visits to her bedroom, according to the victim’s mother.
A charge of assault GBH was later added to the charge sheet after it was found that the man also assaulted his then three-month-old son by throwing bricks on his head during an incident in 2012.
The baby sustained two intracranial injuries and had to undergo open brain surgery, whereafter he contracted meningitis, leaving the now five-year-old boy mentally disabled and unable to walk or talk.
During Wednesday’s sentencing procedures, Qomoyi described the rapes as “appalling and utterly outrageous acts” that “inflict horrific suffering on the young victim”.
“One cannot begin to imagine the impact of this incident on the victim as she matures into adolescence and adulthood.
“She has been left eternally scarred by this incident. Not only was she put at risk of contracting HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases, but was also impregnated by the accused.
“She was forced to terminate the pregnancy, one of the worst things the child will ever experience. The girl endured traumatic sexualisation and was left feeling betrayed, powerless and stigmatised,” Qomoyi said.
She added that the accused abused his power while the victim considered him as her father.
Referring to the assault charge, Qomoyi stated that a doctor testified that the child victim “would have died” if swift action was not taken by means of the emergency operation he underwent.
Before handing down her sentence, Qomoyi said she “could see no other way out” but to impose the prescribed minimum sentence on all charges.
“I could find no substantial or compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
“It is no secret that women, the community and society as a whole are tired of the abuse and violence against women and children. We see cases like this, where minors are sexually violated, on a daily basis in this court. We need to curb this disease,” she added.
Qomoyi then combined the two rape charges and sentenced the accused to life imprisonment while also giving him an additional ten years for assault GHB.
The sentences will run concurrently.
The man was also found unfit to possess a firearm and declared unfit to work with children.
His name will also be entered into the national Register of Sex Offenders.
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