Judgement in multiple child sexual abuse trial expected on Monday

19 Aug 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 19 AUG (NAMPA) – A judgement in the trial of a man accused of rape and the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation in Swakopmund, is expected to be made public in the Windhoek High Court on Monday.
Bertus Koch, 42, allegedly raped five minor girls and committed other sexually-related crimes with them between November 2015 and May 2016 in the DRC informal settlement.
On 06 August this year, 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 at 10h00.
In case Judge President Damaseb does not finish writing his ruling on the matter in time before 20 August, he will 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 presented prima facie evidence during the trial that the accused had indeed committed sexual acts with the five complainants on several occasions and abused the children’s vulnerability in respect of their poor family backgrounds.
Koch’s State-funded lawyer, Dube asked the court to set his client free arguing that the evidence given by the five complainants differed and was 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.
He faces 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.
Koch’s 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 showed that Koch had pornographic pictures on the walls of his house and allegedly did not discourage the children from going to his room.
He 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 on Monday.