Ac­cused of child rape

‘Re­li­gious’ man to stand trial for al­leged sex­ual abuse of young boys

The Witness - - NEWS -

TA­NIA BROUGHTON A 25­YEAR­OLD Pi­eter­mar­itzburg man — said to be “re­li­gious and play­ing a role in the church” — is to stand trial on 24 charges of sexually mo­lest­ing young boys.

It is al­leged the man raped and sexually abused 18 young boys, one of whom who was only eight years old at the time.

The short, slight man — who can­not be named un­til he pleads to the charges — ap­peared be­fore Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court Judge Shyam Gyanda yes­ter­day and was served with an in­dict­ment de­tail­ing the charges against him.

A source told The Wit­ness the ac­cused was to have ap­peared in the high court on Mon­day “but he didn’t come be­cause he has other cases and was ap­pear­ing in another court”.

The trial has been set down from May 21 next year.

The al­leged crimes were com­mit­ted in June/July 2016 in the France area of Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, in Septem­ber 2016 in Nde­leni near Rich­mond and in Fe­bru­ary this year in Illovo, Amanz­im­toti.

The ac­cused lived in all three ar­eas dur­ing those times and, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, would “lure the chil­dren to his res­i­dence en­tic­ing them with cell­phones, a tablet, videos and games”.

“All the chil­dren were school­ing ... he was re­ garded as a re­li­gious person, play­ing a role in the church.”

His al­leged vic­tims are aged be­tween eight and 14. All are ex­pected to tes­tify at the trial, which has been set down for five weeks.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, the man preyed on chil­dren who walked past his house on their re­turn from school.

He would in­vite them in, lock the door, force them to par­tic­i­pate in sex­ual acts and then rape them.

One of his al­leged vic­tims, who is 14, claims that the ac­cused and another man “took turns” rap­ing him.

The man is in cus­tody at Westville prison.

“The ac­cused would lure the chil­dren to his res­i­dence en­tic­ing them with cell­phones, a tablet, videos and games”.

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