Stepfather to be listed on sex offender register

2013-12-18 00:00

A COURT yesterday ordered that a 32-year-old Pietermaritzburg man who earlier admitted to “touching” his seven-year-old stepson’s penis with his mouth must be registered on the national list of sex offenders.

Regional court magistrate Phumlani Bhengu also declared the man unfit to work with children in any way. The registration itself can raise red flags for parties like employers and schools, and restricts access to vulnerable people, including the mentally handicapped.

The man, who represented himself in court, and did not oppose yesterday’s application by the state, was also instructed to submit to fingerprinting for the purposes of the register.

In September, the man — who works as a salesman in Pietermaritzburg — pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the boy and was given a suspended sentence of six years’ imprisonment, following a plea agreement.

State advocate Melanie Naicker explained to the court that it had been belatedly realised that no order had been made to enter his name on the sex offenders register.

In terms of the new sexual offences law this is a requirement when people are convicted of committing sexual offences against children.

If it is not done the prosecuting authority is required to rectify the omission.

The man was accompanied at court yesterday by his wife, who has stood by him throughout his trial, despite having laid the initial charge.

He was initially charged with rape in connection with an allegation that he’d performed oral sex on his stepson.

In terms of a plea agreement the charge was reduced to sexual assault.

The court was told the man and his stepson had a close bond and used to engage in “tickle fighting”. In February this year they’d had a “tickle fight” on the bed, during which the stepfather pulled down the boy’s pants and had touched the child’s penis with his mouth.

The child’s mother walked in on the scene.

The man was thereafter charged.

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