A 39-year-old man from Zaka will spend the next 15 years in prison after he was found guilty of raping his mentally challenged teenage niece.
The accused, whose name cannot be published to protect the victim, was initially slapped with a 17 year jail term by Chiredzi Magistrate Judith Zuyu but two years were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.
In passing judgement Magistrate Zuyu said that the accused crafted a defense to deceive the court into believing that he was not aware of the complainant’s mental status when he actually knew the complainant since she was a child because he would constantly visit as they were related.
In his defense the accused had told the court that he was unaware of the victim’s mental status because they were in love for more than a year and he was even promising to marry her.
The state case as presented by Prosecutor Rutendo Ndimbu was that on November 13 2020 the accused approached the victim who was playing with his four-year-old daughter.
The accused then lured the victim promising to give her some mangoes at his homestead which she agreed to.
Upon arrival, the accused asked the complainant to escort him with some empty sacks to the bush and she followed him.
The accused then ordered the girl to lie on the empty sack, undressed her and raped her once.
After raping her, the accused searched filled the sack with firewood, gave the victim some mangoes and ordered her to go home.
About a week later, the victim then told her aunt about the ordeal, who reported the matter to the police leading to the accused’s arrest.