The Butterworth Regional Court has sentenced a 66-year-old man to 18 years in prison for raping his stepdaughter.
His name has been withheld to protect the identity of the victim.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luxolo Tyali, between January 2012 and October 2015, the man stayed with the victim in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape.
He would give the unsuspecting girl, who was 10 years old at the time, cola mixed with brandy.
"When she fell asleep, he would rape her and the child would wake up noticing that her private parts were wet. The man did this over a period of three years, and in some instances, he did not drug her but threatened to stop buying her clothes if she refused to have sex with him. When the victim resisted her stepfather's advances, he would chase her away from their home, forcing her to sleep in a nearby church building and next to the river during other days," Tyali said.
The rapes were only reported when the victim, who was by then 13 years old, confided in one of her teachers at school. The teacher reported the matter to social workers.
The child was transferred to a place of safety and the man was arrested.
The State tried to secure the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment term, but the court found that there were compelling reasons to deviate from it after taking into account the man's age and the fact that he suffers from chronic high blood pressure.
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