A 49-year-old man from Sikombingo Village, Lower Gweru in the Midlands Province, initially arrested for rape after impregnating his 15-year-old stepdaughter, has been convicted of a lesser charge of having sexual intercourse with a minor.
This was after the man proved to the court that he was in love with his stepdaughter and the two were actually having consensual sex.
The court also heard the complainant’s mother, and wife to the accused was aware of the affair.
This was heard when the man, name withheld to protect the complainant, appeared before Gweru Regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing three counts of rape.
The accused pleaded guilty to just one count.
However, following a full trial, Mrs Msipa found him guilty of having sexual intercourse with a minor.
Mrs Msipa sentenced him to eight years in prison and suspended two years on condition of good behaviour.
The man told the court that he would give his stepdaughter money and at one time bought her some sandals after engaging in sexual intercourse with her.
It was the State case that each time his wife, the victim’s mother, was away, the man would sneak into the bedroom where the complainant slept with her other siblings before raping her.
In one of the counts, one of the siblings woke up to relieve herself and witnessed her father raping the complainant.
Each time the accused raped the complainant, he allegedly threatened her with death if she dared report the rape to anyone.
When the complainant’s mother discovered the pregnancy, she lied that her boyfriend was responsible as she feared being killed by the accused.
Mr Talent Tadenyika represented the State. The Chronicle