A North West man who was left to care for his partner's three young children allegedly repeatedly raped one of them, the Stilfontein Magistrate's Court has heard. The man, 42, who cannot be named until he pleads, appeared for the first time in court on Wednesday following his arrest at the weekend in Khuma, Klerksdorp, Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani said.According to Funani, the man's partner had left her 13-year-old daughter and two other children under his care while she attended a family gathering."It is alleged that the accused sent the younger siblings, aged four and five, to a spaza shop. The 13-year-old victim was taking a bath when the accused entered the bathroom and allegedly raped her."The victim's uncle, who stays in a back room in the yard, heard the minor crying and called other family members. After finding out what had happened to the victim, the uncle reported the matter to the police and the 42-year-old suspect was arrested."The 13-year-old also claimed that this was not the first time that her stepfather had raped her, Funani said.The accused is expected back in court on October 16 for a formal bail application.North West provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned the incident, saying the police would do anything possible to ensure that the accused remained in custody."It is sad that the child was allegedly violated by someone who was supposed to protect her and that the incident took place amid calls for drastic action against perpetrators of gender-based violence," said Motswenyane.