Barbie could err again

2010-02-09 22:27

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Pretoria - There is no absolute certainty that Cézanne Visser, known as "Advocate Barbie", will not commit another (illicit) sex act without further rehabilitation, forensic criminologist Eon Sonnekus told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Cross-examined by State prosecutor Andre Fourie, Sonnekus maintained that the only punishment Visser should be given was a suspended sentence or three years correctional supervision under house arrest.

"The process has only begun, sentence should be handed down, rehabilitation should take place to ensure it does not happen again.

"I have not said she is fully reformed or fully rehabilitated," Sonnekus conceded.

Should a correctional supervision sentence be imposed, this should include 60 hours a week to attend work, 10 hours on weekends to shop and attend church, and two hours of community service at the local zoo.

However, Fourie argued that this allowed Visser a large amount of free time and did not sound like punishment. The community service suggested was an interest of Visser as she liked animals.

"What is her quid pro quo?" he asked.

Remorse

Fourie was sure many mothers would consider themselves under house arrest if this was all punishment meted out.

Fourie also challenged Sonnekus's methodology in compiling his report, arguing that the merits of the crimes themselves had not been dealt with and that the victims had not been interviewed.

He earlier told the court that Visser could not have shown remorse for indecent assault and solicitation of a minor to perform indecent acts because she had not yet taken responsibility for the crimes.

This, after Sonnekus submitted on Monday that Visser should receive a lesser sentence because she had, of her own volition, told him she was sorry.

"Straightforward she lied. She has not accepted responsibility," Fourie told the court.

He submitted that although Visser had testified that she was sorry for the crimes, she had also claimed to have committed them because she was the victim of manipulation by her former boyfriend Dirk Prinsloo.

Guilt

Fourie said remorse denoted repentance followed by feelings of guilt and responsibility.

Sonnekus responded: "It can be", but added that remorse could also be an understanding of wrongfulness.

Visser was convicted in October of 11 of 14 sex-related charges.

These included soliciting a 15-year-old to perform indecent acts, indecently assaulting 11-year-old and 14-year-old girls and the possession and manufacture of child pornography.

Prinsloo, who skipped the country while out on bail during the trial, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Belarus court last week for theft, assault and attempted bank robbery.

He still faces sex-related charges in the High Court in Pretoria.

More evidence in mitigation of Visser's sentence will be presented on Wednesday when another expert is expected to take the stand.

- SAPA

Read more on:    cézanne visser  |  dirk prinsloo  |  child abuse
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