August 7, 2020
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Morlai Turay, a Bike rider at Hill Side Bypass Road in Freetown, Western Area District, was on August 5th convicted and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for sexually penetrating a 12- year- old pupil.
The convict was standing trial in the High Court presided by Justice Momoh Jah Stevens on a one count charge of sexual penetration of a child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012.
The State Prosecutor, Jena B. Kamara, had alleged that the accused on 1st May, 2019, and 14th July, 2019, at Hill Side Bypass Road in Freetown, Western Area District, sexually penetrated the victim below the age of 18th years to wit 12 years, contrary to the laws.
In his judgment, Justice Momoh Jah 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, and 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 three witnesses to present its case, including the victim, her aunt and the police investigator.
He said several exhibits including the medical report were tendered against the accused person.
He said in her testimony, the victim had recalled the day of the incident when her aunt asked her to drop a certain dish to her (aunt) elder sister.
He said the victim narrated that on her way the accused held her hands, dragged her into a nearby gutter and sexually penetrated her.
Justice Stevens said the accused had denied the allegations earlier in his statement to the police.
Having examined the evidence, he said he had established that all that the accused told the police was nothing but blatant lie to cover-up his bad deed.
He said the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused person, because the victim identified the accused person very well.
He recalled that the accused had threatened to kill the victim had she shouted for help during the course of the crime.
Meanwhile, Justice Stevens told the court that he wanted to send a strong warning to the public that they should not involve in such act.
The convict, Morlai Turay, is the first person that has been sentenced in the newly established sexual offences court.