High rates of sexual abuse of minors in Uganda ‘a tip of the iceberg’

Parents and children rights organisations in Uganda have urged the authorities to act following an upsurge in cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) said it had received 17 cases of minors who were raped in just two weeks.

According to the country’s annual crime and traffic safety report for 2011 7,690 cases of rape were recorded that year.

“If we are to go by the police statistics, at least 21 children are defiled everyday in Uganda,” said Marlon Agaba, an ANPPCAN information officer. “These reported cases are however a tip of an iceberg as many cases aren’t reported due to a multiplicity of factors.”

“One absurd case is of a seven year old girl who was defiled and her uterus damaged, she is currently recovering at a Kampala Hospital.”

“Another case is one involving a Pastor in Mukono who was caught in a lodge with a 17 year old girl.

“What is very disheartening is that most often the perpetrators of these crimes are people who have responsibility over children like parents, teachers, religious leaders and guardians.”

Agaba said despite the fact that the media had been awash with cases of child sexual abuse, especially rape and indecent assault, more people were being caught on the wrong side of the law.

“Many of our children are defiled every day,” said Irene Nakato a parent who works at Kampala market. “Some men defile children below 10 years because they think that such children do not have HIV/Aids.”

Two teachers were recently arrested in the eastern district of Ngora after they were caught in the act raping a 16 year old girl in their house. The girl was rescued by fellow students who broke into the house after hearing her screams.

Marlon said rape was the most common crime against children.

Since 2011, a total of 1,363 cases of rape have been investigated by ANPPCAN.

Bosco Okure, a parent said the increasing cases of abuse had seen many children contracting HIV.

“The high cases of sexual abuse have led to more children contracting HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases,” he said.

“It has also increased child pregnancies, early marriages and high school dropout rates. There need to be more tough laws with severe punishments in order to fight the vice.”

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2 Boys charged with raping 2-year-old cousin in Mexico

Mexico, May 2015

Prosecutors in the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo have charged two boys, ages 12 and 13, with raping their 2-year-old cousin, officials said.

The boys were placed in the custody of their mother and grandmother because the law prohibits holding children younger than 14 in jail.

The boys face trial before a family court judge and have been prohibited from leaving Cancun, the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The victim’s mother, Maria de Jesus Rodriguez Geronimo, has staged a series of protests in the Caribbean resort city to shed light on the case and demand justice for her daughter.

“They raped and since they now know that (future victims) are going to talk, now they might even kill. They hurt my daughter and I don’t want them to keep hurting other girls. One of them abused his own sister, two of his cousins, and one of them is pregnant. I don’t know how far along she is, but I know she is (pregnant) because one of my sisters confirmed it from Tabasco,” Rodriguez Geronimo said.

The boys arrived in Cancun from Cardenas, a city in Tabasco state, where they lived with their grandmother, who “was no longer able to handle them,” Rodriguez Geronimo said.

Relatives of the toddler plan more protests, including a rally at Cancun City Hall on Wednesday, to draw attention to the case. EFE

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20-year sentence for man‚ 74‚ who raped granddaughter

South Africa, February 2017

A 74-year-old man was on Thursday handed a 20 year sentence for repeatedly raping his granddaughter over a period of a three years.

The rapes took place between 2002 and 2005.

The man‚ who is originally from Slovakia‚ was sentenced in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court where his daughter and girlfriend wept‚ later berating the victim while court was still in session.

“You will pay for this. You know the truth‚” the man’s girlfriend shouted at the victim before storming out of the court.

The victim sat in the third row of the court gallery‚ comforted by her mother and members of the NGO‚ Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA).

“Get out‚ get out‚” the crowd in the gallery shouted at the woman.

The man cannot being named to protect the identity of his victim.

She was just 10-years-old‚ fresh from Slovakia and did not speak a word of English when her grandmother’s brother first raped her.

Her mother had left her in his company and shortly after she left‚ the man put a pornographic video on after which he raped her.

In the victim impact statement‚ the young woman‚ now 24‚ wrote about how she washed her blood-soaked underwear after the first rape episode.

Her grandfather watched over her‚ telling her “how nice and tight” she was.

From then on‚ he raped her numerous times including at a dam‚ in a car‚ in the house and on a haystack outside someone else’s house.

Magistrate Jan Cox did not mince his words as he described the attackers acts as an “appalling‚ perverse abuse of male power“.

Meanwhile‚ the elderly man who had pleaded not guilty started to sob‚ wiping his eyes as he kept his eyes fixed on the interpreter‚ at times shaking his head in disbelief.

Cox highlighted that he had shown no remorse for his crimes.

Speaking to the probation officer‚ the man had reportedly claimed to have been “seduced” by the girl as he was lonely and she wanted money.

He claimed to have been the victim in the incident.

But on Thursday as the probation officer’s report was read out‚ the accused disputed that he had ever said that.

The probation officer was called to the stand.

The accused’s lawyer suggested that the probation officer could have misinterpreted what the accused had said but she maintained that he spoke proper and fluent English during their consultations.

The man had begged the court for mercy‚ stating that he was elderly and had a 16-year-old son to take care of.

Cox however‚ found that a suspended sentence‚ periodical sentence or house arrest would be inappropriate.

“Had the accused been younger‚ the sentence would have been different‚ ” said Cox‚ suggesting that he would have handed him a life sentence.

He was instead handed a 15-year sentence for rape‚ five years for indecent assault‚ an additional five years for contravening the Child Act and another five for Crimen Injuria.

The indecent assault and crimen injuria sentences would run concurrently‚ meaning the man would effectively serve 20 years behind bars.

Cox said the courts would show no mercy for those who infringed on women’s rights.

The court heard how the man’s granddaughter was broken by the abuse she suffered. She was labelled a problem child and had attempted to commit suicide.

The woman came out about her ordeal six years ago after being encouraged by her boyfriend.

The case dragged out for six years in the courts before being finalised.

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings‚ the beaming young woman seemed relieved.

She vowed however‚ that she would never forget nor forgive the man she had regarded as a father.

WMACA founder Miranda Friedmann welcomed the sentence.

She was emotional as she told reporters that she was moved when the magistrate meted out a heavy sentence.

The old man’s lawyer had on numerous occasions made reference to the rape and sexual assault trial of former tennis champion Bob Hewitt.

In 2016‚ 76-year-old Hewitt started serving a six-year sentence for raping two of his students and sexually assaulting another in the 1980s.

Cox‚ however‚ said the circumstances were different as the accused in this matter was a father figure to the victim.

Heading down to the holding cells of the court‚ the elderly man with a dark brown hair appeared bewildered as he waved goodbye to his daughter.

They held his hand as he walked down.

He will serve his sentence in Modderbee Prison on the East Rand.

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29 year old welder to spend 15 years in jail for rape

Nigeria, June 2016

A Delta State High Court sitting at Warri Judicial Division has sentenced a 29 year old welder, Obor Omodavwejie to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping a 16 year old girl.

The court while expressing satisfaction that prosecution was able to prove its case against the accused, pronounced Obor Omodavwejie guilty of the one count charge of rape and sentenced him to 15 years behind bars.

The court in its verdict, held that from the evidence adduced and after watching the demeanor of the victim, believed her evidence as the pains on the victim’s face while testifying were obvious.

Prosecution called three witnesses including the IPO and medical doctor that examined her.

Though the accused made confessional statement, he claimed that the victim consented to the sexual Intercourse.

Prosecution had told the court that on or about the 1st day of October, 2014 at Edjeba, within the Warri Judicial Division had deceived the victim (name withheld) by sending her on an errand for an undisclosed item but when she brought the said item, the accused and his friend, now at large, overpowered her and dragged her inside their apartment and had canal knowledge of her without her consent.

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‘Stammer’ confesses to child abuse… Pleads guilty to having sex with 9-year old girl

Guyana, March 2015

Justice Franklyn Holder yesterday postponed sentence on Leyrone Sandiford, called ‘Stammer’, to March 30, to await a Probation report.He was about to empanel a l2-member jury to try the accused for committing rape on a nine-year old girl between the 1st and 31st of May, 20ll, when the 43 year old plait haired man with gold teeth, and smartly attired with black pants and tie to match, muttered ‘Guilty sir’ when asked by the Registrar whether he was guilty or not guilty of the crime.

The jury, whom the judge observed were eager to sit, since last week when the 12-year old victim of an alleged rape case decided not to testify, which resulted in the particular accused being discharged and the jury sent away with instructions to turn up yesterday for possible selection in ‘Stammer’s rape case, has now resulted in a further setback for them.
After consulting with the prosecutrix who could not find another case before Monday next, means the jury will have to wait until then, the judge observed.
In the meantime, “Stammer” was in chains yesterday when he was remanded to prison to await sentencing. The probation report is expected to be represented by lawyer Mr. Mark Waldron, who is expected to make a plea in mitigation on the resumption.
Up to the time the accused pleaded yesterday, he told the court that he was unrepresented and that he was leading his own defence. But after a short adjournment, lawyer Waldron visited the court and spoke to the judge.
When the matter resumes on the 30th, prosecutrix Mrs. Teshana Lake will disclose the facts of the case to the Court.

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