A 45-YEAR-OLD man from Nyamandlovu has been jailed for 12 years in prison after being convicted for impregnating his 16-year-old stepdaughter.
The man whose identity cannot be revealed to protect the minor pleaded guilty to a rape charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Joseph Mabeza who sentenced him to an effective 12 years in prison.
Mabeza said rape had become rife and as such it could not be taken lightly.
“Rape is one of the highest recorded crimes, it is one experience that leaves an everlasting wound. Some rape survivors have been exposed to diseases such as HIV/AIDS and many other sexually transmitted infections.
“With that said, I find you guilty of rape and you are sentenced to an effective 12 years in prison. I hope that as you serve your sentence you will take time to reflect on the damage you have caused to the life of this young girl,” Mabeza said.
Efforts by the accused person to beg for a non-custodial sentence were fruitless.
“My Lord, I request that the court may give me a non-custodial sentence so that I may be able to support my seven children,take the complainant back to school and as well as take care of my two-year-old child with the complainant,” said the man.
Prosecuting, Ms Caroline Matanga said on April 29 in 2016 the complainant’s mother came to Bulawayo and left the complainant and her younger sister under the care of the accused person.
“On that same day at midnight the accused person went to the room where the complainant and her younger sister were sleeping. The man entered into the minor’s blankets and he started fondling her breasts and caressing her private parts,” said Ms Matanga.
She said the man forcibly had sexual intercourse with her.
The prosecutor also said that the girl did not tell anyone about this ordeal up until in June 2016 when her aunt suspected that the minor might have been pregnant as she had missed her monthly flow twice.
The court heard that the minor was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals where a pregnancy test was conducted and it was established that the girl was two months pregnant.
Ms Matanga said the girl then told her aunt that she had been raped by the accused person and the matter was reported at Luveve Police Station leading to the arrest of the accused person.