By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
37-year-old Yusuf Mohamed Conteh was sentenced by Justice Justices Mohamed Bawoh to ten-year imprisonment after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a 14- year-old child in Freetown.
Conteh was before the court on one count of sexual penetration contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No 12 of 2012, as repealed and replaced by Section 4 of the Sexual (Amendment) Act of 2019 Act No.8 of 2019.
The State lawyer alleges that the convict on 30th September, 2019, in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone, engaged in an act of sexual penetration with a child below the age of eighteen to wit, fourteen years old.
After the defense closed their case, an option was given to the convict to select whether he wanted to rely on his statement he made to the police, take the witness stand and call witness or testify in the dock. But he informed the court through his lawyer from the Legal Aid Board that, he relied on the statement he made to the police.
Meanwhile, Justice Mohamed Bawoh immediately withdrew the file for judgment.
The judge recalled that the accused had pleaded not guilty to the offence as charged, adding that the prosecution brought four witnesses including the aunt and mother of the victim.
He said in the case of the prosecution, they also made an application for the matter to be tried by judge alone, which he granted accordingly.
However, Justice Bawoh in his ruling stated that, the victim testified that the convict always come to the house to visit her elder sister everyday
He said the victim in her testimony in court narrated how the convict convinced her to follow him into his house where he sexually penetrated her.
“I submit that the prosecution has proven it case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused person. I therefore hold the accused guilty as charged of sexual penetration. He is therefore sentenced to Ten years imprisonment,” he ordered.