50-year-old  jailed 15 years for abusing 9-year-old child

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By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

50-year-old Hassan Conteh, a businessman, was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment at the Freetown Correctional Centre for sexually penetrating a 9-year-old pupil.

The convict was standing trial in the High Court presided by Justice Momoh Jah Stevens (JA) on a one count charge of sexual penetration of a child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012.

The State Prosecutors, Jane B. Kamara and M.P. Sesay, had alleged that the accused   on 11th December, 2021, in the Western Area in Freetown, sexually penetrated the victim who was below the age of 18th years to wit 9 years, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

In his judgment, Justice Stevens said the accused was standing trial before his court on one count charge of sexual penetration.

He said it was the burden of the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt, noting that the prosecution must prove four elements beyond all reasonable doubt.

He reiterated that the prosecution must prove that indeed the accused engaged in an act of sexual penetration with a child, and that it  must also prove that at the time of the offence the victim was under the age of 18 years.

He further that the prosecution must also prove that the accused had the intention at the time of the incident, and that he must have engaged in an unlawful act with a child to wit sexual penetration.

He said the prosecution called four witnesses to present his case, noting that the victim said on the 11 December, she went to the accused’s residence to help him fetch water.

She said the accused told her that the containers were filled and that on her way back home he forcefully grabbed her and took her inside his house and penetrated her by using his finger and later instructed her to go home.

She said during the process she felt pain and that it was her sister who noticed the odd way she was walking and raised alarm.

He said the victim was taking to the police station where statement was taken from her.

The medical report which was tendered in court, indicated that the hymen around the victim’s virgina was ruptured and that such rupture could be caused by sexual penetration or bike riding

He said  Doctor Cole further told the court that she could not tell as to when the victim’s hymen was ruptured.

Justice Stevens said having examined the evidence, he established that all that the accused told the police was nothing, but a lie to cover-up his bad deed.

He said the prosecution had proved its case behind all reasonable doubt against the accused.

Sentencing the convict, Justice Stevens said the convict took advantage of the kindness of the victim by helping him to fetch water, adding that the convict took advantage of the vulnerability of the victim and used it to abuse her.

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