Justice at last for a young girl who was continually sexually abused by her stepfather from the age of 3.
‘We at WMACA applaud Magistrate Philip Venter for his strong judgement at the Boksburg Regional Court today’, says Tania Otto, WMACA Spokesperson. ‘This sentence is a victory in the on-going fight against the sexual assault of children. Child rape must be punished as severely as possible, to serve as an effective deterrent, if we are serious about eradicating this scourge and protecting the children of our country’.
The court room was tense and silent as the accused stood while Magistrate Venter announced two life sentences for rape and 10 years for indecent assault, to run concurrently. Furthermore, the child rapist’s name will be entered on to the Sexual Offences Register.
In his comments before passing sentence, Magistrate Venter made it very clear today that the court’s duty was to pass sentencing as a deterrent to eradicate serious and violent crimes: ‘Rape is one of the most heinous crimes – it murders the victim’s self-respect and subjects them to mental torment for life’. He added that our country has one of the highest rape figures in the world, especially those involving child victims, and our society’s demands for protection from child rapists must be taken into account – however, far too often children are abused because the offenders know they can get away with it. He said that sentencing must act as punishment, deterrent and retribution, but must also be justified.
‘The court has a duty to guard the integrity of the judicial system and restore and maintain the public’s trust in our criminal justice system by passing appropriate but severe sentences’, continues Tania, ‘the state had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt through substantial evidence, professional assessments, Victim Impact reports and medical expert testimonies, one of which was WMACA’s Dr Yvonne Riester. The magistrate reiterated how this father had raped his daughter for many years behind closed doors with clever planning and psychological manipulation and yet does not accept blame and shows no remorse. ‘
Magistrate Venter called the victim’s mother to the stand and informed her that if/when any parole hearings are called, she could attend them and voice her objections.
The Legal Aid defence attorney submitted an application to appeal immediately and leave for appeal was granted.
We at WMACA fully support Magistrate Venter’s decisions and statements given today. Our Social Worker from our Boksburg Kidz Clinic, who has counselled the victim since this case was first reported, was called up to testify previously and is confident that the court had given detailed reasons for the conviction and that the sentencing is appropriate and that no other court will be able to contest the sentencing handed down today.
‘Today this court has sent out a clear message and warning to child rapists – there will be severe consequences for raping children!’