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Cellphone Gives Away Rapist Panner

A 34-year-old gold panner from Shurugwi, who left his cellphone after raping a 17-year-old girl, has been slapped with a 20-year jail sentence.

The panner, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of his minor victim, appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing two counts of rape.

He was pleading not guilty to both counts, but was convicted after a full trial.

The court heard from the minor how the rapist, after learning that she was on her menstrual cycle, went on to remove her tights and pad before raping her twice — once in the corridor and the second time in her room where her six-year-old aunt was sleeping.

“The accused person is sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on two counts of rape,” said Mrs Msipa.

“The accused person disrespected the girl child and even raped her when she was on her menstrual period and therefore deserves a lengthy jail term.

“He is sentenced to 20 years in prison of which 5 years are suspended on condition of good behaviour.”

In his defence, the man told the court that he gave the complainant his cellphone so that she could sell it to raise money to go to the salon.

It was the State case that on April 13 at around 6am, the complainant was left at home together with her aunt, who is also a minor.

The court heard that the following day at around 7pm the complainant was at home outside the house at a fireplace with her aunt preparing supper.

The rapist, the court heard, was also outside at his fire place.

The complainant’s uncle and the rapist are tenants at the same house.

The court heard that the complainant’s aunt retired to bed before supper was ready.

The complainant later finished preparing supper and took the cooking utensils into the house.

While she was making her way to her room, the man followed her, tripped her to the floor and told her that he wanted to have sex with her before threatening to stab her with a knife he was holding if she screamed.

The accused person went on to rape her once even after learning that she was on her menstrual cycle, and left her lying on the floor.

The complainant went to her room and when she wanted to close her door, he returned before throwing her to the floor.

He raped the complainant once more in the presence of her aunt.

The court heard that after the rape, he went out unaware that he had dropped his cellphone.

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