Graffiti shames child molester

2013-12-13 00:00

HILTON residents are outraged after learning that a convicted child molester is living in the quiet, upmarket suburb.

The Witness can reveal that a retired 65-year-old, who was a prominent business executive in the banking sector, was recently convicted of “sexual assault” after admitting to inappropriately touching his step-granddaughter on her genitals.

The incident was discovered when The Witness was tipped off that someone had spray-painted the words “Pedophile [paedophile] here” and “Convicted Child Molester” on the outer walls of his posh Hilton home.

The names of the people involved cannot be revealed to protect the man’s five-year-old victim.

The graffiti attracted much interest from passers-by and one motorist stopped when she saw it and shouted: “Is this true? That is disgusting. Oh Shame!” before driving off.

The Witness has established that the sexual assault occurred on November 1 and 2, 2012, when the victim, a four-year-old at the time, had been left in the care of her grandmother because her parents were away in Johannesburg.

An angry neighbour told The Witness that the retired banker got a “slap on the wrist for sexually assaulting his step-granddaughter by being under house arrest”.

In his own admission of guilt statement, the man said: “On November 1, the complainant my step-granddaughter was sitting on my lap in front of my personal computer and whilst we were waiting for her computer game to download onto the computer I put my hand underneath her clothing and touched her genital organ”.

Again on November 2, he said he was lying in bed with the complainant and “I put my hand underneath her pyjamas and touched her genital organ”.

He said the child reported the matter to her grandmother, and they reported the incident to the child’s parents.

“I confirm that I unlawfully and intentionally sexually violated the complainant on both occasions without her consent and in breach of the relationship of trust that I had with her,” he said.

When approached yesterday for comment, the molester’s wife, a teacher, confirmed that he was under house arrest, and then told The Witness he had gone to buy material to remove the graffiti.

She said they had been to court six times in the past year and the matter had been resolved, but she believed that people were out to “get” them. She later called The Witness and asked that the story not be published.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said they were investigating a case of malicious damage to property in respect of the graffiti.

He said it was discovered that the molester’s outer wall was vandalised. “It is alleged that intimidating words were sprayed on his wall, accusing him of being a molester,” he said, naming the man. He said no arrests had been made.

“During this week, he was convicted of sexual assault and received a wholly suspended sentence,” he said.

The man is retired from his work in a prominent managerial position at a leading bank in Johannesburg.

The Correctional Services report on the man states that he has no previous convictions.

According to court papers, the child’s parents and both their children are in counselling. The incident has led to the father losing about R20 000 a month in income because he is struggling to concentrate on work since the incident.

Facebook comments

THE Hilton community was buzzing with the news that a convicted child sex offender was living in the area yesterday.

People took to Facebook to share their horror and concern yesterday.

“Horrified to know a sick man is living in our residential area,” said one woman.

Others posted pictures of the house, giving the address and praising the work of the spray painter. “Name & shame!! No mercy!!” wrote another.

In the afternoon, unconfirmed news came that the wall had been freshly painted over.

Parents speak out

THE parents of the child that was sexually abused by her step-grandfather released a statement to The Witness yesterday, saying the experience had been “inconceivably traumatic for our family and devastating for so many other people who have also been affected by the fall-out of this crime”.

They thanked those who had rallied around the family and said “child abuse knows no boundaries and does not discriminate”.

“Child abusers can even be the people most trusted, people of high station or of affluence … We commend our daughter for the courage that she has shown beyond her years, to bring an end to the abuse she endured. With the abuse of children being so prevalent, we can only convey a message to all parents and people caring for children to support our children to speak out.”

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