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12 years for man who subjected teen to 3-hour rape

A 29-year-old man who attacked and repeatedly raped a Swaneng Hill schoolgirl, subjecting the terrified teenager to a three-hour ordeal, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his cowardly act.

Zimbabwean native, Godfrey Moyo was 24 when he pounced on his unsuspecting victim at around 6am on the morning of Thursday 3 March 2016.

The girl, an 18-year-old Form Four student, had been heading towards Serowe Sports Complex to attend sports day when she realised there was a man following her.

Reliving her traumatic experience before Francistown Magistrates Court, the victim testified, “I ignored him thinking it was just a passerby. But then I felt him holding my hand and he dragged me to a nearby bush against my will. I tried to scream for help but the person choked and slapped me.”

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She further told court Moyo took of his belt and threatened to hang her should she scream. He ordered her to undress and proceeded to sexually assault her, choking her every time she tried to call for help.

Thinking her torment was finally coming to an end, the girl was pulled deeper into the bush, where Moyo had left some of his belongings. He removed a condom from his bag, told her to take off her clothes again and raped her once more.

The witness informed court she was later able to recognize the accused having ‘spent about three hours with him’ during the ordeal.

“He had short dreadlocks and two scars on his face,” she told the police when identifying Moyo as her attacker four months later. His DNA was also found in a condom recovered from the crime scene.

For his part, Moyo, who maintained his innocence throughout the trial, pleaded for mercy, telling court he has a five-year-old daughter that depends on him.

Passing sentence this Wednesday, Judge Matlhogonolo Phuthego noted that with cases of rape and gender-based violence on the rise in Botswana, it was court’s responsibility to hand out stern punishments to offenders to deter others from following suit.

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“I therefore sentence the accused person to 12 years imprisonment backdated to the period spent in prison,” closed Phuthego.

Moyo, his dreads long since shaved off, left for prison with his head bowed, walking slowly due to his shackles. His daughter will be nearly 18 when he next breaths free air – the same age as the young woman he so callously raped.

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