Life for HIV+ rapist of child (11)

2008-05-22 00:00

A 44-year-old HIV-positive man, who allegedly knew his status when he raped an 11-year-old girl in 2001 on more than one occasion, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a high court judge in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Imposing the ultimate sentence on Bhoyi James Plaatjies of Pietermaritzburg, Judge Leona Theron said rape has reached endemic proportions in the country.

All rapes are disgusting and inhuman, but the rape of a small child is even more so.

“Children who are raped are robbed of their innocence,” the judge said.

She said the trauma of the rapes would remain with the victim in the present case for a very long time.

Society expects the courts to deal harshly with people like Plaatjies.

Plaatjies was convicted by a lower court in Pietermaritzburg and the case transferred to the high court for sentence in terms of the prescribed minimum sentencing laws.

According to court records, the victim was well known to the accused, as he’d had a relationship with the girl’s aunt.

It was alleged that the aunt died as a result of being infected with the HI virus by him, and that he was aware of his HIV-positive status.

Plaatjies has a previous conviction for rape for which he was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

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