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Magistrate speaks on lacuna in Sexual Offences Act

September 11, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Freetown Court No.2 has observed that there is lacuna in the Sexual Offences Act of 2012.

She stated that the Act should make provision for parents and guardians to be brought to court for negligence and other contributing factors that leads to sexual penetration.

Magistrate Bonnie made the above observation whilst listening to the testimony of a seventeen-year old girl who was impregnated by her boyfriend, 19.

The girl said she has been in relationship with the accused who was an apprentice carpenter working for her uncle for two years.

She said she dropped out of Junior Secondary School and admitted into a vocational institute.

The victim however pleaded with the Bench to grant bail to the accused person, stating that she really loves him.

Magistrate Bonnie said some of her experiences in sexual penetration matters were shocking and heart rending.

According to her, the parents of the victim were to be blamed, stating that when they leave a matured boy and girl to live together, constitutes a  clear manifestation of encouraging them to involve in bad games.

However, the accused person was not granted bail. The Magistrate told him that he should suffer for the one he loves.

“Jesus Christ loved the world and he died for the world. I am not granting you bail and you should suffer for the one you love,” she said.

She recalled dealing with another sexual penetration matter involving a twelve -year old girl who told the court that she seduced the perpetrator to have sexual affairs with her.

The magistrate continued that the girl had approached her perpetrator for sex but the perpetrator refused and told her she was a child.

“She told the perpetrator that she is not a child and the she removed her clothes to prove to the perpetrator that she is not a child,” Magistrate Bonnie quoted the words of the victim.