15-year jail term for rape of stepdaughterBy: WERNER MENGES
A WINDHOEK resident has been sent to prison for 15 years after being convicted of raping his stepdaughter twice at their home almost five years ago.
There is very little that can mitigate the crime of rape, Magistrate Cosmos Endjala told the convicted man during his sentencing in the Windhoek Regional Court.
He told the man, now 45 years old, that it was aggravating that the complainant in this case had been his stepchild at the time that his crimes were committed. He held a position of trust towards her at that time, but abused this position, the magistrate said.
The incident had a traumatic effect on the complainant, leaving her with a severe loss of self-confidence, and causing two attempts by her to take her own life afterwards.
The man, who cannot be identified in order to protect the identity of the complainant, was accused of having raped his stepdaughter twice at their home in Windhoek on September 25 2007.
He denied that he was guilty of the alleged crimes.
The complainant told the court she was at home, cleaning the kitchen, when her stepfather arrived from Walvis Bay. She was 24 years old at the time. He called her to his room, and after she had at first ignored his request she eventually went into his bedroom.
He then forced himself on her and raped her, she testified.
She described the incident in graphic detail to the court.
After raping her in his bedroom he repeated the same act in her room, she said.
She reported the incident to her mother at work the same day.
When a doctor examined her later that day, evidence was found that a sexual incident had taken place, the magistrate recounted in his judgement. According to the accused, his stepdaughter was accusing him falsely because she did not like him.
She however told the court that she was fond of him as her stepfather – although he had also sexually molested her when she was 12 years old.
Magistrate Endjala said he had come to the conclusion that although the complainant was a single witness with regard to the alleged rapes, “she was an extremely impressive witness”.
He said the court had no hesitation in accepting her evidence that she had been raped.
The accused continued to maintain he was innocent after he had been found guilty.
This prompted the magistrate to remark that he had shown no remorse at all.
He told the man that he found no substantial and compelling circumstances to be present which would have allowed the court to deviate from the minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment prescribed by the Combating of Rape Act of 2000.
The accused had spent the past four years and nine months in custody before his case was finalised.
Public Prosecutor Carol-Ann Esterhuizen represented the State. Defence lawyer Willem Visser represented the accused.