Man (57) accused of raping stepdaughter

RAPE: People need to talk about rape.

A MOTHER of two has been left heartbroken and speechless after discovering that her mentally handicapped daughter (21), was allegedly raped by her stepfather (57).

The daughter has the cognitive abilities of a six-year-old child.

The alleged offence started when the child was about 14. The mother and stepfather had been together for 18 years at that time.

The victim disclosed the alleged offence when the house mother of Lewenslig Centre for adults with disabilities in Vanderbijlpark, noticed that she had shaved her pubic area. When the house mother questioned why she shaved that area, she said her stepfather told her to do so.

During the assessments by a forensic psychologist in Benoni, the victim disclosed that the stepfather also made her watch pornographic movies. She further disclosed that she was very scared, as her stepfather told her that if she told anybody about the offence, he would shoot her mother.

The victim went for a J88 medical examination at the Rape Centre in Germiston, and the tests confirmed forceful penetration. The victim was tested for HIV and pregnancy, but these tests came back negative.

When the mother confronted her husband, he denied all wrongdoing, and asked his wife to please believe him.

The mother told the RECORD that she knew her child could never make up these kinds of stories. There was just too much information for the allegations to be false.

The mother and her children moved out of the home six weeks after the disclosure in order to keep them safe. She told the RECORD that her only priority now is to help prepare her daughter for the court case and then to support her on her journey to recovery.

The mother cannot understand how her husband, who has been her daughter’s stepfather since she (the daughter ) was four years old, and who had stood by her through all of her health challenges, could do this to her child.

She also cannot understand how she did not realise that something was wrong.

The mother said that her husband took everything away from her child.

“My daughter is so traumatised and scared that she sometimes sleeps on the floor between the dogs to feel safe. She also shows separation anxiety when I am not with her.”

The mother would like to tell parents to be vigilant.

“We teach our children to be cautious of strangers, but statistics shows that the majority of children who fall victim to sexual assault are violated by the people closest to them. We should change our dialogue with our children and teach them from a young age that they are in control of their bodies. We should not allow uncles, aunts and other people to hug and kiss our children. We are sending mixed messages to our children about who they can allow to touch them and who not.

“Remember, grooming (for sexual abuse) can start with a friendly hug, a playful kiss in the neck, sitting on their favourite uncle’s lap or playful tickling, and before they know it, it takes an evil turn and our children are left exposed and vulnerable,” she said.

The man was formally charged with rape on March 1, 2017. He appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on March 2 but was detained to give SAPS the opportunity to confiscate his firearm. He reappeared in the magistrate’s court on March 3 and was subsequently released on R3 000 bail.

The case has been postponed until May 17.

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Elzaan Pienaar

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