The Bloemfontein Regional Court has sentenced Tshepo Innocent Lemaoana (23) to 20 years direct imprisonment for raping an 80-year-old grandmother in May last year. Lemaoana was sentenced on 23 October and his conviction followed intensive investigation. The victim was reportedly raped at knife-point in her home in Borwa Location in Tweespruit.The police investigation revealed that Lemaoana entered the victim’s house and threatened her with a knife at about 02:00. Sgt Martin Xuma, the police spokesperson, said the victim was asleep with her two-year-old great grandson at the time of her rape. He said Lemaoana was caught with his pants down in the house. “The accused raped the victim whilst her great grandson was asleep in the same house.“While the accused was still inside the house the granddaughter arrived and knocked at the door. “The victim told the accused to open the door and the granddaughter found the accused who was not fully dressed. The accused could not explain why he was half naked in the granny`s house and he fled,” said Xuma.Realising that the grandmother had been raped, the granddaughter alerted the police. “The accused was traced and apprehended the same day. He was linked positively through DNA results and this ensured that the accused was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years direct imprisonment for rape,” said Xuma. He said the investigation of the case was assigned to Det. Sgt Tshepo Olebile of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in Ladybrand.“Crimes against women and children are one of the priority crimes and as the law enforcement agencies we strive to ensure that the vulnerable are protected by law. “It is appalling that people take advantage of the elderly and leave them with permanent emotional scars” said Lt Gen Moeketsi Sempe, provincial commissioner of the police in the Free State.