The man who cannot be named due to “gag orders” to protect the identity of the 12 year-old victim was sentenced to six years, nine months after pleading guilty to three counts of indecent act without consent.
This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo in her sentencing remarks said Courts must continue to impose sentences that reflects community’s disgust at child abuse offences.
She said this is to remind those who commit such offence on children that once caught and brought before the court they will face the full force of the law.
“It is also my view that a sentence that clearly echoes and calls for protection of children both inside and outside of their homes must be imposed,” Ms Garo said.
The three incidents happened on 3 November 2020, 5 January this year and 8 February this year at a village in Isabel.
The first two incidents occurred at their dwelling house while the third happened at a leaf hut at their bush garden.
The court had heard that on those three occasions the 43 year-old defendant asked his daughter to bless him and cure him of his illness at his private body part.
He then performed sexual acts in front of his daughter on those three occasions when his daughter was performing touched and perform healing on his private body part.
The court had also heard that the victim is believed to have some healing talent gained from the SOMA movement (healing movement) which they practiced how to walk with a walking stick.
Ms Garo said the victim is the biological daughter of the defendant and he had abused the trust that the country, the community, his family and the victim (as his daughter) have in him as a father to care for her and protect her.
She said the fact that the defendant repeated the offending until his own daughter the victim disbelieved him and reported him makes the offending serious.
“It is clear he allowed his sexual perversity to take over his duty as a father.”
Ms Garo added that this type of offending is not always easily or quickly detected because it is often committed at secluded places, in the homes at alone times when people like the defendant pick on the vulnerability of children, especially, where children are mostly seen and hardly heard.
“Thus, a sentence to deter would be offender’s is called for and must be imposed.
In mitigation, the defendant through his lawyer had submitted that the defence started experiencing consistent pain at the lower abdomen region around September 2019.
The defence counsel had submitted three woman and a bishop on differences occasions had prayed for the defendant.
The two of the women performed custom rituals to cure the defendant’s illness and also told him someone used black magic on him particularly on his sexual organs and that is why his two children were also sick.
However, it was submitted that not long after those healing, the defendant started to feel pain again.
It was submitted that the defendant’s two sons also had medical issues with his private body parts and were treated by medical professionals at Buala hospital.
The defence further submits the defendant then wondered as to who would treat him and then he informed his wife that he would ask his daughter, to check him because she had a gift to heal sick people.
It was submitted that the sick made the defendant ashamed and that he did not force the his daughter to check him adding that it depends on her.
The defence in mitigation also added that the defendant did not intend to do bad things to her daughter but only for his daughter to check his private body part.
He said he wanted to get better.
Ms Garo however rejected the explanations he was at pains to press before the court as unbelievable and a last minute attempt to twist the facts.
She said found the attempt by the defendant to explain away the reasons for his offending, he appeared to have forgotten, that it is important to go to the hospital to get proper medical diagnosis.
She said it is clear from his explanation of the circumstances giving rise to this offending, that he was willing to take his two sons to get proper medical treatment from Buala hospital, but refused or did not himself seek such treatment from medical professionals.
Ms Garo imposed imprisonment terms of one year, four months for the first count two years and two months for the second count and three years and three months for the third count.
All sentences were ordered to run consecutively which reached a total sentence of six years and nine months in jail.
BY ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN BONGIDANI