April 15, 2020
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Foday Conteh, a teacher attached to one of the schools in Waterloo, Western Rural District, was yesterday April 14, convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment at the Freetown Correctional Centre for sexually penetrating a 15 years old pupil.
The convict was standing trial in the High Court presided by Justice Monfred Sesay 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, Ahmed Joseph Sesay, had alleged that the accused on Thursday, 12th June, 2018, at the Waterloo Western Rural District, sexually penetrated the victim below the age of 18th years to wit 15 years contrary to the laws.
In his judgment, Justice Monfred Sesay 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 sexually 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 in the matter was nowhere to be found to testify on the matter but police officers, his court clerk and one Doctor Ola Bissy Cole, who examined the victim, testified in the matter.
He said in her testimony, Doctor Cole told the court 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 the Doctor Cole further told the court that she could not tell as to when the victim’s hymen was ruptured.
He said in the victim’s statement to the police, she narrated that she was a JSS Two pupil and that she was 15 years of age.
Justice Sesay said the victim further narrated that the accused was her neighbour and a teacher, noting that the accused had approached her mother that he would secure a scholarship for her ( the victim).
He said the victim had told the police that the accused took her to his residence instead of his office.
The judge said the victim stated that the accused had asked her hand in love, but she refused and that the accused forced her and had sex with her.
She said the next day the accused went again to their residence and told her to go with him to the office so that they conclude the process for the scholarship.
She said the accused again took her to his residence and penetrated her for the second time, adding that she later reported the incident to her mother who in return reported it to the police.
Justice Sesay said the accused’s had denied the allegations and narrated that sometimes in 2018, the victim’s parents and the son of his landlord had some problems in which he assisted settling the matter.
He further that the mother of the victim was however not satisfied with the settlement and threatened to put him into trouble.
The judged said that the accused had told the police that on the day of the alleged incident, he only took the victim to a workshop and returned home to her parents after the said workshop.
Justice Sesay 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 Sesay said the convict took advantage of the power and trust that was given to him by the victim’s parents and sexually penetrated her, adding that there was also evidence that the convict had bought used back parks, shoe and also induced her with money.
He said teachers should not be seeing their pupils as women but as vulnerable children and that they should be role models to those children and prepare them for the future.
He added that the convict took advantage of the vulnerability of the victim and used it to abuse her, thus sentencing him to ten years imprisonment.