A Police officer Clever Mtengerenji has been found guilty of sexual activity with a girl aged 12
The Rumphi Magistrate Court convicted the cop on Wednesday.
The Police officer committed the offense on the night of 7-8th February (2016) at his house where he, along with his cronies organised a party which the girl had also attended.
The girl, who was staying with her grandmother, had earlier reportedly gone missing after being sent on an errand to collect candles from her mother.
But while on the way, she met the convict who enticed her to his house with the promise that he would give her note books.
When her family members searched for her, she was later found at Mtengerenji’s house and was immediately taken to hospital for medical examination and treatment. The matter was then reported to police.
In his ruling, Magistrate Brian Msiska said he took into account four issues in evidence that was presented to him by the prosecution to convict Constable Mtengerenji for the offence.
The Magistrate explained that the court took into account the age of the victim, medical report, circumstances in which the case had occurred and evidence from the victim herself.
“The law is very clear that anyone below the age of 16 is a child. The girl in question is not above the age of sixteen. There is no evidence that she is older than that age,” said Msiska.
The defendant earlier told the court that the two were in a love relationship and that the girl told the defendant she was 18 years old before the relationship began.
The medical report tendered before the court stated that when the girl was examined she was stable. Further examination conducted on her private parts revealed that there were no sperms.
However, the medical report showed there was penetration in the girl’s private parts, though it did not conclude in detail whether the penetration was a fresh one or old. The report was therefore challenged, prompting the request for re-examination.
Nevertheless the re-examination was not done; instead, the clinical officer who examined the victim explained in detail the findings made and clarified unclear parts in the report.
But the magistrate told the court the medical report was not the sole authority of evidence, saying it only supplemented other pieces of evidence presented. He said the court was therefore at liberty not to consider a medical report.
Magistrate Msiska said for the offence to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, the court had to look at circumstances into which the case had occurred. There was high possibility that the girl was defiled because the people were at a drinking party and everyone was drunk.
“The circumstances into which both the defendant and the girl in question were in are that they were both and others drinking beer. The chances for defilement to occur there were very high.
“It might be that she was not only defiled by one person but also others who were at the party because all [those at the party] were drunk,” Msiska observed.
He further observed that what the girl told the court was true because she categorically stated in her evidence to the court that it was the defendant (Mtengerenji), nobody else had defiled her.
The girl told the court in camera that the defendant dragged her into his house where he had three rounds of sexual assualt in one night.
“The evidence given in court is that she [victim] was defiled three times in one night by the defendant and the court cannot get evidence from another source but from the victim. The court is of the view that what she told the court is true.
“After examining all the evidence in totality, this court is of the view that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the offence and convict him accordingly,” Msiska ruled.
In mitigation, Mtengerenji appealed to the court to exercise leniency, saying he was paying fees for his young brother among other responsibilities he had.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Msiska has adjourned the matter to 13th April, 2016 for sentencing.
At the time he committed the offence, Clever Mtengerenji was stationed at Livingstonia Police Unit at Khondowe in the district.
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