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TO AGRESSIVELY END RAMPANT RAPE

1O Years Imprisonment For 20 Years Pupil

June 29, 2020

Justice A. R. Mansaray

The presiding Judge of the Kenema Judicial District, Nongowa Chiefdom, Eastern Sierra Leone, Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray, has sentenced a 20-year-old pupil for sexual penetration of a child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act, No. 12 of 2019 as amended by Section 4 (ii) of the Sexual Offences Act No. 8 of 2019.

According to the Particulars of Offence, the convict-Theophilus Carew, sometime in February, 2020 at Kakajama Section, Nongowa Chiefdom, Kenema Judicial District engaged in an act of Sexual Penetration with Mary Conteh (not real name), a girl under the age of 18 years to wit, 15 years.

According to the medical certificate No. 149687, tendered by the Medical Doctor, (name withheld) there were no physical injuries seen. The genital findings indicated that she suffered from a ruptured hymen as a result of the sexual penetration.

In her statement before the Magistrate Court from which the case was subsequently committed to the High Court on trial before the learned Judge, the victim had explained that she knew the convict as her neighbor.

She testified that sometime in February, 2020, there was a birthday party in the neighborhood, she explained, “I decided to watch the ongoing event when the convict called me and forced me into one of the toilets where he kissed me and told me to bend and inserted his penis into my vagina.”

She continued that she later saw blooding oozing down when the convict’s girlfriend came around and saw them. The matter was then reported to the Family Support Unit, Kenema and was charged to magistrate court which later committed the matter to the Kenema High Court where the convict pleaded guilty.

After arguments and counter arguments from the State Counsel, Augustine Sheku representing the victim and the Legal Aid Board Counsel, Patrick Kamara, representing the convict, the judge in his judgment ruled that, “having listened carefully to the brief fact by the state, the allocutus by the convict and the plea-in-mitigation by the defence counsel praying to this Court to temper justice with mercy, and having also considered the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Aaron Salia Vs. The State- Cr App 8/2003 (unreported) regarding a guilty plea, and having further noted that the convict is a first time offender who wasted no time in pleading guilty upon arraignment and with no previous criminal record before this court, I am inclined to temper justice with mercy to the convict and hereby pronounce the minimum imprisonment term.”

He therefore ruled that the convict be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, starting from 27th March, 2020.

Rape and Sexual Penetration has become rampant with one of the recent victims, Khadija Madinatu Saccoh, a 5-year-old being raped to death which ignited a public protest from Civil Society, Journalists, Musicians and Human Rights groups calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to provide a forensic laboratory which will help to aggressively end the rampant spate of rape and sexual penetration.

Credit: Media and Communications Department, JoSL