A 20-YEAR-OLD Harare man who forced himself on a 15-year-old girl who was his neighbour learnt the hard way that crime does not pay after he was on Monday slapped with an effective 18 months’ prison sentence by Harare regional magistrate Adonia Masawi.
Gaylord Chigwaza was convicted for contravening section 70 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which makes rape a criminal offence.
Chigwaza was initially sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, but six months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit an offence of a similar nature.
In his judgment, Masawi noted that the accused had sexual intercourse with the 15–year–old complainant knowing fully well that she was a minor as she was a Form 1 pupil.
He also observed that the case was aggravated by the fact that Chigwaza was a married man who has a child hence he did not have “to seek sexual favours from under–age girls”.
The accused and the complainant reside in the same neighbourhood in Waterfalls. The court heard that some time in March 2013, the complainant was on her way home from the shops when she heard footsteps behind her. On looking back, she saw Chigwaza trailing her.
He then grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her into a nearby unfinished house where he pushed her down on her back and muffled her with a piece of cloth before removing her clothes and raping her. When he was through, he threatened to assault her if she reported the matter to anyone before leaving her behind.
The matter surfaced when Chigwaza’s wife confronted the complainant and accused her of having an affair with her husband.
The complainant then told her mother’s friend about the issue. The matter was then reported to the police leading to the arrest of the accused person.