Parents speak of child's sleepover sex assault ordeal

2016-12-06 18:10
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Cape Town - A Cape Town mother wept silently outside the Parow Regional Court on Tuesday after a man who sexually assaulted her young son during sleepovers was sentenced.

"Always check people out," her husband told News24. They sat through the harrowing details of how a man, the father of one of their son’s friends, had groped their son while he was sleeping over at his friend’s house.

"His wife is in the police. He is a Christian. We trusted him," said the woman, wiping away tears after the man was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years.

The names of the parents and the offender may not be published to protect their children.

Asked if she had advice for other parents, the assaulted boy's mother said: "My son was very spontaneous. But, with time, he became quiet.

"And when he went there for sleepovers, he would send me a message to say he wanted to come home."

Trusting her instincts, she persisted with questions, until eventually the truth came tumbling out of her son.

Visit to Sandy Bay

His friend's father, an ex-policeman, had been touching him and stroking his genitals whenever he went there for sleepovers.

The couple claimed the friend's mother had asked him to keep quiet about the assaults, which started in 2013 when he was 11. They carried on until the boy reached Grade 8.

The boy's father said that the man seemed decent.

"He even took the kids on camps," he added.

It later emerged that he took the boys to Sandy Bay nudist beach to show them naked men, the couple said.

According to his plea agreement, the man said he would join the boys on a mattress they would set up in front of the television so they could watch movies during the sleepover.

His lawyer, Ettienne Barnard, read it into the court record.

When the boys fell asleep, the father would pretend to be sleeping and would touch the young guest's genitals.

"He used to pretend he was sleeping and touch him to see if he was asleep. If he moved, he would remove his hand."

3 years of assault

He admitted to "purposefully, repeatedly touching his private parts while he slept," Barnard said.

The lawyer said the accused knew that what he was doing was wrong. It took place for three years, until the boy told his mother.

Magistrate Amanda van Leeve sentenced him to three years in prison, suspended for five years, on condition he is not be convicted of a similar crime, and 576 hours of community services.

He was ordered to undergo counselling and rehabilitation courses, and was placed under house arrest for the duration of the sentence.

The boy’s mother alleged that the man had groped other boys, but that their parents did not want to lay charges. She hoped they would change their minds.


 

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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