Gugulethu pastor gets life in prison for rape of mentally disabled girl
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Cape Town - A Gugulethu pastor, who was found guilty of raping a mentally disabled girl, was sentenced to life in prison at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The rape case against Luvuyo Hendricks, 53, dates back to 2016 when he was accused of raping the then 15-year-old girl whom he was transporting to and from school.
Hendricks was found guilty in December last year.
The court heard that the victim only spoke out about her ordeal a year later due to her mental health disability.
During sentencing on Wednesday, Magistrate K. Pillay said the offender has not shown any remorse about his crime and was only concerned about his image in the community.
Pillay said he put the girl through hell again when she was forced to testify in court.
“Even though the DNA evidence pointed at the offender he maintained that the neighbours influenced the victim to accuse him, you did not spare her because she had to testify and continue suffering,” Pillay told Hendricks.
Pillay said people trusted men of the cloth and that he as the child’s driver was trusted to keep her safe, but failed in his duty.
“You abused your position of trust and abused a mentally ill child,” she said.
She said the appropriate sentence for Hendricks is the minimum sentence for the rape of a child which is life in prison.
The victim’s mother said she was very happy with the sentence: “I’m at peace now and thankful that the
message has been sent out that rapists are not
welcomed in our communities.”
She said she had trusted Hendricks to take care of her child, but he violated her instead.