Step­fa­ther gets life for rap­ing girls over 7 years

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LINDI MASINGA

A 51-YEAR-OLD Rand­fontein man, con­victed of rap­ing and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing his step­daugh­ters, was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment by the high court in Joburg yes­ter­day.

In Fe­bru­ary, Judge Cas­sim Moosa found the man guilty of rape and in­de­cent as­sault of his two step­daugh­ters. The man can­not be named to pro­tect the iden­tity of the girls.

Judge Moosa said the man chose to shat­ter the trust of his step­daugh­ters, de­spite them lov­ing him as their fa­ther.

The rape and sex­ual as­sault went on for seven years.

Judge Moosa said fam­ily cir­cum­stances, level of ed­u­ca­tion, whether he was a first of­fender, and re­morse were con­sid­ered when mak­ing a de­ci­sion on a suit­able sen­tence.

He said the vic­tims did not tes­tify dur­ing pre-sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ings and had taken a turn for the worst af­ter hav­ing to talk about the in­ci­dents in court.

The trau­matic in­ci­dents the two sis­ters were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at home were dis­cov­ered when they con­fided in their school coun­sel­lor af­ter they were not as­sisted by their mother, who told the court she was not a con­fronta­tional per­son and did not know how to ad­dress the mat­ter with her hus­band.

“The ac­cused has shown no re­morse dur­ing the trial and turned his step­daugh­ters into his wives and had reg­u­lar sex­ual in­ter­course with them,” the judge said.

The mother of the two girls had wit­nessed the man putting his hands in the un­der­wear of one of her daugh­ters but failed to ques­tion him about his mis­con­duct.

The sis­ters told the court that they ini­tially kept quiet, be­cause they thought all young girls ex­pe­ri­enced the same thing in their homes. But they found the courage to speak out af­ter a friend, who was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the same abuse, told them it was wrong.

Judge Moosa found that the ac­cused had failed dis­mally as a fa­ther and had left his fam­ily des­ti­tute.

The judge said the ef­fects of the continued as­sault and rape on one of the girls re­sulted in her hav­ing anx­i­ety, fear, trust is­sues, sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies and pro­mis­cu­ous be­hav­iour at a young age. – ANA

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