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DNA helps pave stepdad's path to a life sentence in jail

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Oct 15, 2020

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Pretoria - A man who repeatedly raped his 12-year-old stepdaughter and impregnated her found out that DNA never lied.

He forwarded numerous excuses to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, as to why he never touched the child.

The man, who cannot be identified to protect the child, is spending his life behind bars after the court earlier convicted him of rape.

He appealed both his conviction and sentence, which was dismissed.

Apart from saying the child had lied, the 43-year-old man, who has eight children of his own, said if the court was convinced he was guilty, a life sentence for raping a child was shockingly harsh, as it was not “the worse kind of rape”.

The child testified that her stepdad had raped her numerous times. She told her ill mother about it, but she did nothing.

After her mother died she told her aunt what had happened. It was discovered that she was four months pregnant and given an abortion.

As the stepdad denied he had raped her or fathered the foetus, compulsory DNA tests were done, which confirmed he was the father.

In a bid to justify the DNA findings, the man at first said the blood sample was never taken from him, but his small son, the half-sibling of the victim.

This, he said, would explain why he was linked to the foetus as his son’s DNA was the same as his.

He maintained that the late woman’s family tried to frame him because they wanted to take the children away from him so they could claim child support grants. He said the family poisoned the victim’s mind and convinced her to lie about the rapes.

He said as she testified that the rapes always took place at night, it was impossible for her to have identified him in the dark.

But the child was adamant that her stepdad had raped her several times, and that he on each occasion told her that if she told anyone he would kill the entire family.

She was terrified of him as he was a security guard who owned a firearm.

A forensic expert testified that DNA results were almost always true. She said the results established that the stepfather was 99.99% the father of the foetus. The court rejected his defences and confirmed that he was the culprit.

Acting Judge FMM Snyman said he did not know what could be worse than raping an innocent young child.

Pretoria News

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