Paedophile's ex-girlfriends: 'Cry for help' nothing but a joke

2017-02-13 14:59
Warren Troy Knoop, who faced 870 charges, including rape and possession of child pornography. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Warren Troy Knoop, who faced 870 charges, including rape and possession of child pornography. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Johannesburg – A convicted paedophile’s cry for help was nothing but a joke, his two ex-girlfriends said on Monday.

The two women, who he met at work, spoke out after East Rand car salesman Warren Troy Knoop was handed multiple life sentences at the Johannesburg High Court.

"His testimony was a joke last week (Friday)," the women said. Their children were Knoop's victims.

"He claims he found God in jail. He used to make me go to Bible studies and prayer group and church when we were together," said one of the women. She said that when she met him, she regarded him as a good man.

"He was always saying, 'don’t drink, don’t smoke – be a good person, be decent'," the woman said.

She said she worked with Knoop for about two to three years.

"I had an armed robbery at home, so I was very vulnerable and he saw that as an immediate target. He targeted single mothers with kids who were vulnerable."

32 life sentences for rape

Knoop's other ex-girlfriend said that when he was arrested, Knoop had told her that he had never touched her child.

"He promised me that he never ever touched her. It was only when I saw the videos [of her child] that I realised how bad it was," she said.

Knoop was sentenced by Judge Cassim Moosa in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday morning. Moosa sentenced him to 32 life sentences for rape.

His victims included three young girls. In addition to his life sentences, Knoop was given a further 20 years for the rape of a second victim, 15 years for the rape of the third victim, 20 years for using a child for the purpose of child porn, and 20 years for creation of child porn.

Moosa gave Knoop a further 40 years for sexual assault, 10 years for forcing a child to witness masturbation, 10 years for exposure or display of genitals to a child, five years for sexual grooming, 15 years for possession of child pornography, and 15 years for distribution of child porn.

The sentences would run concurrently with the life terms. Knoop was ordered to participate in sex offender and anger management programmes.

The dark-haired man gripped the edges of the bench while Moosa delivered his sentence.

'I need help'

Last Friday, Knoop wept and begged for help after he pleaded guilty to all 870 charges of rape and possession of child pornography.

"I can’t take back everything I have done to those people," he said. State prosecutor Riana Williams told the court that Knoop’s first victim was born in 2011.

She was a year old when Knoop first fondled her. He stopped raping and sexually molesting the child when she "began talking too much", the court heard.

Williams said Knoop was worried that the young girl would tell others what he had been doing to her. She said there were images of the girl naked, her legs tied apart, while Knoop masturbated on her.

In handing down the sentence, Moosa said: "The complainant was a mere one-year-old (when he started touching her)... the accused raped her when she was two years old. He was a father figure and he abused her trust."

"I believed that a higher sentence would be appropriate."

On Friday, when Knoop took the stand in mitigation of sentencing, he said: "I need help. This has been a cry for help and from here on, I can make a difference. It hurts me, but I deserve this. I need help," he told the court.

'This darkness took over my life'

He cried as he spoke to one of his former lovers seated in the court gallery. He told her he was sorry for what he had done to her.

"I didn’t date you because you had a daughter. This darkness took over my life, left a monster that would abuse many. I am sorry," he said.

In his guilty plea, Knoop said he suffered from depression, and sexual and suicidal tendencies. He admitted to having an addiction to sexual perversion, and being a paedophile.

Williams also told the court that Knoop’s second victim was a 12-year-old. The girl could recall at least 12 times when she woke up to find Knoop on top of her.

This apparently happened over a period of six months. The girl tried to commit suicide in 2013, the court heard.

His third victim was 11. She could not recall the abuse and only discovered what had happened after he was arrested. Knoop was caught when US officials found him sharing scores of videos on a website commonly accessed by paedophiles.

Several laptops, external hard drives, cellphones, memory cards, a DVD, PlayStation console, and a mini spy camera were seized from Knoop during a raid.

According to Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Knoop preyed on single mothers and their children. The anti-abuse group claimed Knoop tried to distribute these images internationally.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rape  |  child abuse

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