28 January 2013

Namibia: Man Convicted of Rape of 4-Year-Old

A WINDHOEK resident who was accused of raping a four-year-old girl when he was 21 years old was found guilty as charged in the Windhoek Regional Court on Friday.

More than eight years have passed since the incident in which transport company employee Kallie Tities was alleged to have raped the girl.

The incident was alleged to have taken place at Tities's home in Katutura in Windhoek in early August 2004.

Tities denied the rape charge on which he stood trial before Magistrate Sarel Jacobs.

In his judgement on Friday, the magistrate rejected Tities's defence to the charge and found that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he committed the crime he was accused of.

Tities, who is now 29 years old, is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

The magistrate recounted in his judgement that according to the evidence heard during the trial the girl was part of a group of children who were playing at the house where Tities also lived on the day of the incident.

At one stage, Tities chased the children out of the house, but he then called the girl back into the house, the girl herself and an adult witness who was also at the house told the court.

Tities appeared not to have been aware of the adult witness's presence in the house.

The court was told that he called the girl into his room, and that he then closed and locked the door.

According to the girl he then took off her underwear and raped her.

The events came to an end when the adult witness, who had discovered that the door of Tities's room had been locked, went to knock at his window.

During the trial Tities denied that the girl had been in his room, that he had locked the door, and that he had committed a sexual act with the child.

The magistrate also heard that, during a medical examination of the girl about a month after the alleged incident, it was discovered that she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

Tities also denied that he had such a disease, or had ever been tested for it.

In his judgement the magistrate rejected Tities's version that he had not been in the room with the child as inherently false.

He said he could find no reason to doubt the girl's version that while Tities was in the room with her he committed a sexual act with her.

Tities is a father of two children, and is maintaining them, their unemployed mother, and also two of his siblings after their parents both died, his defence lawyer, Tabitha Mbome, informed the court after the delivery of the verdict.

Addressing the court on the sentence to be imposed on Tities, Public Prosecutor Cliff Lutibezi remarked that it would appear that Tities had planned the offence in advance. The offence itself is very serious, and the circumstances of the case would actually warrant a sentence in excess of the minimum prison term of 15 years prescribed by the Combating of Rape Act, he argued. He suggested that Tities should be sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment.

Tities had been free on bail, but his bail was cancelled after he was found guilty.

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