King William's Town – Eastern Cape police believe that the 18-year sentence handed down to a 20-year-old man who raped a girl, 13, at Khothana Village, will serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders.Luphiwe Xakwe was sentenced at the Tsomo Regional Court on Tuesday. He had raped the girl on June 18 last year, Captain Jackson Manatha said on Wednesday."We trust that the lengthy sentence will serve as a deterrent to criminals preying on our children who are not in a position to defend themselves," he said.It is alleged the victim was walking along the road with the accused when he tricked her to enter his home. "Once the two were inside the house, the accused drew his knife and threatened the victim. He then raped her and later let her go home. A case of rape was registered at Ngqamakhwe Police Station and Butterworth FCS Unit took over the investigation. The suspect was traced and arrested," he said.He said violence committed against children was at the forefront of the police's fight against crime and the investigators would pursue every avenue to ensure successful convictions.