Stepfather sentenced to multiple life terms for raping stepdaughter

The Tembisa Magistrates’ Court sentenced a stepfather to 5 life terms for raping his stepdaughter from 2003 to 2016.  

He married the complainant’s mother when she was 11 years old. The complainant suffers from a severe cognitive impairment and is thus classified as a severely mentally disabled person.

 In April 2019, the mother of the complainant enquired who fathered her last child born in 2016. The complainant was reluctant at first, but eventually broke down and mentioned the name of the accused, her stepfather. The mother being shocked enquired again, and the complainant revealed that her fourth child, born in 2010 was also fathered by him. 

The police were approached and a case of rape was opened and investigated. DNA samples were taken from the accused, the complainant and all five of her children. The DNA results confirmed the accused is the father of all five children.

The complainant was 20 years of age when she gave birth to her first child, and 33 years old when she gave birth to her fifth child. The accused denied ever having sex with the complainant and also denied she suffered from a severe mental disability.

The state called several witnesses and presented the evidence from the psychiatrist, who confirmed the complainant’s mental state, the forensic experts involved in the DNA analysis and the mother of the complainant.

 The prosecutor serving under the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) unit, Moses Poo, emphasised the devastating effects of rape within the family unit, together with the fact that the accused took advantage of the position he held over the complainant. She mentioned that the accused exploited her for his sexual lust for over a decade, and never considered the effects this had on her, or how it affected her children.

He did not offer any financial support towards the complainant or the children involved and it was revealed that two of the children fathered by the accused, also suffered mental disability. The complainant is reliant on social grants for herself and her children. She argued that the accused was not remorseful for his actions and thus the prosecutor argued that he deserved nothing less than the prescribed minimum sentence. 

The NPA views the attack on vulnerable groups very seriously and will continue to plead with the courts to show no mercy to those committing such atrocious and disgusting crimes against vulnerable groups. 

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