Stepdad found guilty of raping sisters

2012-08-27 11:35

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Durban - A man who sexually abused his stepdaughters for nine years was found guilty of indecent assault by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, the Mercury reported on Monday.

Larry du Plessis Zweigerlaar was also found guilty of raping Candice Bowman and allowing children access to pornographic material.

Bowman and Jackie Toms were 7 and 8 when they were first indecently assaulted.

Zweigerlaar was married to the sisters' mother from 1991 to 2000 when they divorced.

He pleaded guilty to some of the indecent assault charges but denied the rape charge.

Zweigerlaar was only charged in 2010 when he returned to South Africa from England.

The sisters had taken several years to come forward because they were scared to break up their family.

"It was first reported to their mother, but she did not take it seriously. Then they were asked not to break up the family, which has indeed happened," Judge A Mfayela was quoted as saying.

Mfayela found that the sisters had given credible evidence.

Zweigerlaar was denied bail because Mfayela found that he was a flight risk.

The sisters said they eventually decided to come forward because they wanted to help other victims of abuse.

Toms said: "We wanted to show that 21 years down the line it is still possible to come forward and have a voice."

Zweigerlaar will be sentenced in January.

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