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50-year-old man jailed 15 years for sexually abusing a toddler

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 one count charge of sexual penetration of a child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012.

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

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 stated 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 its case, noting that the victim said on the 11 December, she went to the accused residence to help him fetch water.

She said the convict told her that the containers were filled and that upon her arrival the convict 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 way she was walking and raised the alarm.

The judge said the medical report which was tendered in court revealed 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 convict told the police was nothing, but a lie to cover-up his bad deed.

He said the prosecution had proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt against the convict.

Sentencing the convict, Justice Stevens said the convict took advantage of the kindness of the victim by helping him to fetch water and added that the convict took advantage of the vulnerability of the victim and used it to abuse her, thus sentencing him to fifteen years imprisonment.

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