The Worcester Regional Court sentenced a 65-year-old foster father to 50 years’ imprisonment for the rape of two minor girls.
On Thursday 10 December the Worcester Regional Court in Montagu convicted Charles Stevens for the rape of two girls, aged 11 and 12 years old.
The regional court sitting in Montagu sentenced him to 25 years behind bars for the rapes. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
The two cousins were removed from their biological parents due to socio-economic conditions of the parents and neglect. They were placed in the foster care of Stevens and his wife from Robertson. The rapes occurred on 3 March 2018 and 11 March 2018, respectively. His wife was not aware of the abuse as the incidents occurred while she was asleep.
The prosecutor, Advocate Heinrich Koert, told the court Stevens threatened the girls that they would all go to jail if they said anything and promised them sweets and money.
The abuse came to light when the 12-year-old fell ill at school and was taken to a clinic. She reported the abuse to a health-care worker. As part of the investigation the 11-year- old was also interviewed by police, and she also reported rape. A forensic medical examination at Robertson Hospital confirmed signs of penetration.
The Worcester Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) was instrumental in ensuring both girls be removed immediately from the house and placed in another safe place.
Advocate Cindy Abdol, Case Manager at the Worcester TCC, and Cindy Jacobs, a Site Coordinator at the TCC, liaised with social workers and Child Welfare Robertson, to ensure support services were provided to the victims.
Koert welcomed the sentence saying the court gave a voice to the voiceless in sentencing the accused.
“The scourge of gender-based violence coupled with socioeconomic challenges is very real in the rural Boland community. In passing sentences, the court sends a clear message to victims and the community that their voices matter, that their voices are heard.
“The complainants represented the most vulnerable members of society, and it is important that we send a message to everyone that the state will do its best to ensure they are protected.”
Stevens has been held in custody since his arrest in 2018, after Koert successfully opposed his bail application.
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