Court rejects appeal of rapist
A FORTY-FOUR-year-old man charged with having sex with an 11-year-old girl whom he was guardian to has had his appeal to have his sentence reduced rejected earlier this week.
The applicant, who pleaded guilty on July 9 last year, was sentenced a month later to serve a concurrent sentence of eight years with eight strokes of the cane.
Citing two previous cases involving sexual encounters with adults and a minor, the Justices of the Court of Appeal said the eight-year sentence was consistent with previous judgments made on cases of a similar nature.
“We entirely agree with each stage of the judge’s approach to sentencing in this difficult and disturbing case,” said the Justices.
According to the facts of the case, the 11-year-old girl visited her guardian's bedroom and initiated the sexual encounter in March 2014.
She was not a virgin during the time of the encounter, having already engaged in intercourse at the age of eight with another man.
The girl and her guardian then continued to have sex regularly until May 24. The incident came to the police’s attention after the girl’s mother learned about their relationship through reading her daughter's diary.
During the sexual encounters, the 11-year-old was living with the guardian, who her mother previously had a relationship with, as her biological father had passed away.
The mother was not staying with her two daughters during this time, as they opted to live with the guardian instead, in spite of the mother requesting that they return to her.
When arrested and later confronted with the sexual allegations, the guardian admitted to his guilt.
Despite the mitigating factors of the incident involving “consensual rape”, the Justices said that the guardian “succumbed to the temptation” and “committed a serious breach of trust”.
“He was the child's guardian. The girl was of tender years and vulnerable. She plainly lacked the maturity to make proper decisions concerning sexual activity,” said the Justices.
“She was entitled to the protection of the law but was abused by the applicant. These factors significantly outweigh the fact that the girl consented to the sex when it comes to the sentence.”
The Brunei Times