Child sex victims deserve justice - lawyer

2015-08-13 15:29

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Johannesburg - Seven people, allegedly sexually assaulted by a high-profile businessman, hope they will not be denied justice because the abuse happened decades ago.

Their lawyer, Ian Levitt, said the crimes against his clients took place around 30 years ago when they were children.

The Criminal Procedure Act however, only allowed for cases such as rape and assault to be heard before a court of law within 20 years of the crime taking place.

Despite this, Levitt said they were pushing to lay charges of sexual assault against the businessman who News24 is not identifying for legal reasons.

"We expect it to be knocked by the NPA," Levitt told the reporters.

"We are going to take that decision for review under the Constitutional Court to challenge why a criminal case cannot be brought before the court now because of the time frame but a civil case can," he said.

Levitt said the victims were just children when they were abused and probably had no understanding of what had happened to them.

Legal action

"Children who find out or later appreciate what had happened to them should be given their chance to pursue [legal action]," he said.

Some of the victims said the alleged abuse had had a huge impact on their lives.

In a statement, Paul Diamond said the businessman was a friend or relative of his best friend's parents. He said he had looked up to him and trusted him. He claimed the businessman had fondled both him and his friends in the bathtub.

"He laughed while he did this. I laughed too. I wanted him to like me. I wanted to have fun with him. I did not know that anything was wrong... The laughter became more difficult," he said.

Another victim, Shane Rothquel, said the abuse had left him broken.

"The truth will come out even if you are hiding it from yourself," he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse
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