By Leonard Ncube
A 43 year old man from Hwange who had unprotected sex with his teenage stepdaughter and infected her with HIV has been sentenced to 30 years in jail.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, claimed he had consensual sex with the complainant after proposing love to her in 2014 when she was 13-years-old.
The girl denied in court having consensual sex with her stepdad.
The teenager is now aged 18 and was initiated on Anti-Retroviral treatment (ART) in October last year after having been diagnosed with HIV in 2015.
Even after being diagnosed with HIV, the girl maintained her silence and only opened up this year following a misunderstanding with her stepfather.
She told her mother who sought advice from their village head and he helped them report the matter to the police.
The man was initially charged with six counts of rape when he appeared before Hwange regional magistrate, Mr Collet Ncube.
Five of the counts were altered to having sex with a minor and the sixth count was dismissed after the court ruled that the State had failed to prove that the abuse was rape due to among other reasons, the period that had lapsed before the complainant reported the matter.
Sentencing the man who had pleaded for community service, Magistrate Ncube said he deserved a custodial sentence as he had breached the trust bestowed on him as a parent.
“The court considered that the accused is on ART and that cases of this nature are prevalent where young girls are taken advantage of by elderly men who prey on them for sexual gratification.
“Despite his knowledge that he was HIV positive, the accused persistently had sexual intercourse with the girl without using protection hence his moral blameworthiness is high and he deserves a custodial sentence,” said the magistrate.
Magistrate Ncube sentenced the abusive stepfather to six years in jail for each count and from the total of 30 years, suspended five years on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecuting, Ms Memory Munsaka said the first sexual abuse took place in a toilet when the man followed the complainant as she was relieving herself. He forced her against the wall and had sex with her in 2014.
The court was told that the girl bled profusely and her stepfather promised to buy her a Mathematical set and a pair of shoes and he fulfilled his promise a month later.
He had sex with the girl again on five different occasions. The Chornicle.