AN OHANGWENA region resident convicted of raping his 13-year-old niece received a prison term of 17 years when he was sentenced in the Eenhana Regional Court on Friday.
During the man’s sentencing, magistrate Ruben Mutuku remarked that the prevalence of the offence of rape in the Ohangwena region, as shown by matters on his court roll, could not be over-emphasised.
In rape cases he has dealt with, the perpetrators have mostly been men preying on vulnerable girls within their families, the magistrate noted.
He recounted that in the case before him, the perpetrator was the uncle of a 13-year-old girl that he raped.
The girl was injured during the incident.
She told the court that she experienced depression and stigmatisation after the incident.
According to the evidence before the magistrate, the man was 38 years old and the girl was 13 when, on 23 July 2017, he fetched her from a water point where she was collecting water at a village in the Ohangwena region and took her to his house about 300 metres away.
At his house, the girl said, her uncle raped her.
She also said he threatened her with a bow and arrow, warned her not to tell anyone about the events, and gave her N$50 the next morning.
A charge was registered with the police after other pupils at the girl’s school had alerted teachers that she was injured.
During his trial, the defence version of the accused was a one-sentence denial, the magistrate recorded in his judgement.
Mutuku found there was evidence that a sexual act had taken place under coercive circumstances. He also found that the state had proven its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
During the sentencing, Mutuku said it was important that – especially given the prevalence of rape cases in Ohangwena – not only the accused in question, but also other people should be deterred from committing this type of crime.
The magistrate sentenced the accused to 17 years’ imprisonment.
Public prosecutor Elina Hashipara represented the state during the trial.
The accused stood trial without legal representation.