06 Aug 2018 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 06 AUG (NAMPA) A man accused of rape and the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation on numerous occasions in the DRC informal settlement of Swakopmund, will hear his fate later this month when the High Court hands down its verdict.
Bertus Koch, 42, allegedly raped and committed other sexually-related crimes with five minor girls between the period of November 2015 to May 2016 in his zinc dwelling in the DRC informal settlement.
High Court Judge President, Petrus Damaseb, after listening to written submissions by both State Advocate Innocentia Nyoni and defence lawyer Mpokiseng Dube, said he will deliver his judgement in the matter on 20 August 2018.
In case Judge President Damaseb does not finish writing his ruling on the matter in time before or on 20 August 2018, he will then hand down the verdict on 12 September 2018.
In her submissions, prosecution representative Nyoni pleaded with the court to find Koch guilty as charged because the State has presented prima facie evidence during trial that the accused had indeed committed sexual acts with the five complainants on several occasions and abused the childrens vulnerability in respect of their poor family backgrounds.
On his part, Kochs State-funded lawyer, Dube asked the court to set his client free because the details of the evidence given by the five complainants were totally different from one another and full of contradictions.
In the matter, the State alleges that Koch had lured the five minor girls into his house with the promise of food and sweets after which he locked them up and raped them on several occasions.
Koch is facing five counts of child trafficking for sexual exploitation and five counts of rape, alternatively committing a sexual act with a child below the age of 16 years, and his case is being dealt with by the court under the provisions of the Combating of Rape Act of 2000, which warrants a heavy sentence in the case of a conviction.
Kochs trial was conducted behind closed doors as the victims are all minors.
The five victims are also residents of the DRC informal settlement.
Evidence presented during trial shows Koch had pornographic pictures hanging on the walls of his house and had allegedly never discouraged the children to come to his room.
Koch remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, where he has been since his arrest in late 2016, until his next court appearance.