Doctor to be sentenced on hospital rape charge

Dennis Noa

A trainee medical doctor convicted of raping a patient at Katutura Intermediate Hospital in April 2021 is due to be sentenced in the Windhoek Regional Court tomorrow.

Magistrate Victor Nyazo, who found medical doctor Dennis Noa (29) guilty on a charge of rape four weeks ago, scheduled Noa’s sentencing for tomorrow, after he heard oral arguments from prosecutor Palmer Kumalo and defence lawyer James Diedericks yesterday.

Kumalo argued that, in terms of the Combating of Rape Act, Noa should be sentenced to at least 15 years’ imprisonment.

He argued that the patient Noa was found to have raped sustained injuries that fall in the category of grievous bodily harm, for which the Combating of Rape Act stipulates a minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

Diedericks disagreed with that view, though.

He argued that the coercive circumstances that the state alleged were present when a sexual act was committed with the patient, and which were found by the court, placed the offence in the category for which the law prescribes a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for a first-time offender, which Noa is.

Noa was accused of raping an 18-year-old patient at Katutura Intermediate Hospital, where he was an intern doctor, on 11 April 2021.

The patient was being treated in the hospital following a road accident in which he had suffered a severe head injury.
In the judgement in which he found Noa guilty, the magistrate said Noa was the last person known to have come into contact with the patient before injuries were observed on the patient’s anal area.

The magistrate also noted that no one knew or saw the hospital porter that Noa said he had given the patient to and from whom he later received the patient back on 11 April 2021.

Noa told the court during his trial that he handed the patient to a porter, who was supposed to take him for occupational therapy.

The court also heard, though, that the hospital’s occupational therapists were not working on the day in question.

Nyazo concluded that Noa was the only person who had a window of opportunity to sexually violate the patient.

Noa, who denied guilt throughout his trial, has been held in custody since being found guilty on 22 January.

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