A 34-year-old gold panner from Shurugwi who left his cellphone at the crime scene after raping a 17-year-old girl who lives at the same house with him has been slapped with a 20- year prison stay.
The rapist, whose name has been withdrawn to protect the identity of his minor victim appeared yesterday before Gweru Regional Magistrate, Mrs Phathekile Msipa, facing two counts of rape.
The complainant’s uncle and the rapist are tenants at the same house.
He pleaded not guilty to both counts but was convicted after a full trial.
The court heard from the minor how the rapist after learning that she was on her menstrual period went on to rape her twice- once in the corridor and the second time in a room where her six–year-old cousin was sleeping.
“The accused person is sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on two counts of rape. The accused person disrespected the girl child and even raped her when she was on her menstrual period and therefore deserves a lengthy jail term. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison of which five years is suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Mrs Msipa while passing the sentence.
In his defence, the accused person told the court that he gave the complainant his cellphone so that she could sell it to raise money to go to the salon.
It was the State case that on April 13 at around 6AM the complainant was left at home together with her cousin aged six years.
The court heard that on the following day at around 7PM the complainant was at home outside the house at a fireplace with her cousin preparing supper.
The accused person, the court heard was also outside at his fire place.
The court heard that the complainant’s cousin retired to bed before supper was ready.
The complainant later finished preparing supper and took the cooking utensils into the house.
While she was making her way to her room, the accused person followed her, tripped her to the floor and told her that he wanted to have sex with her before threatening to stab her with a knife he was holding if she screamed.
The accused person went on to rape her and went away out unaware that he had dropped his cellphone.
On the same day, he went back for his cellphone and offered the complainant $5 but the complainant refused with it.
She told her uncle about her ordeal leading to his arrest.
Mr Kelvin Guveya appeared for the State.