Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

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Durban - A Verulam father has been accused of sexually grooming his minor stepdaughter by allegedly forcing her to watch explicit scenes from pornographic videos on his phone.

He allegedly told the girl, who was 9 years old at the time, that she needed to learn how to perform the sexual acts illustrated in the videos, so she could “sell” her body to other men and women.

The 44-year-old man allegedly raped her more than 900 times since 2017.

He was served with indictments in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court last week.

Senior state prosecutor Cheryl Naidu read the indictment into the record.

She also issued a summons for the accused to make his first appearance in the Durban High Court next month where he is expected to stand trial.

At least 12 witnesses will testify for the state.

The accused is being charged with 11 counts of rape, three of child abuse, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and sexual grooming of children as well as creation, possession and distribution of child pornography and causing or compelling children to witness self-masturbation.

According to the state, the accused and the victim’s mother, were living together in Verulam as husband and wife for about two years before she passed away in April 2014.

The girl, who was five at the time, lived with them.

The child’s maternal family had wanted to take her into their care after her mother’s death, but the accused allegedly refused them access to her.

He subsequently became the child’s guardian and primary care giver.

In 2015, the accused and the child relocated to Middelburg in Mpumalanga. According to the indictments, in January 2017 they found themselves without a home and sought shelter in Benoni, east of Joburg, from the accused’s former girlfriend, who was also the mother of his biological child.

The victim and accused’s biological daughter were subsequently enrolled at Actonville Primary School.

The accused was jobless and remained at home while the other occupants of the house went to work and school.

The state alleged on one afternoon after the child returned home from school, the accused allegedly made her watch scenes from a sex video on his phone.

He allegedly told her she needed to learn how to perform the sexual acts and later instructed her to remove her clothing and lie on the bed.

The accused then removed his underwear and forced the child to perform oral sex on him, the state alleged.

His biological daughter was asleep at this time.

On one occasion during this period, the accused allegedly unsuccessfully tried to rape the child.

When his girlfriend’s house burnt down in June 2017, the accused moved back to Durban alone.

He later brought the child to live with him.

He did not enrol her at school and kept her at home.

Between August and December 2017, they moved home between Overport and Firwood Road in Redhill.

While living in Redhill, the accused allegedly raped the child for the first time and performed oral sex on her.

Sometime during their stay there, the accused began a relationship with a woman who agreed to teach the child how to use her body to perform sexual acts for money.

He allegedly made the child perform sexual acts with the woman or made her watch as they engaged in sex.

They also used sex toys in the presence of the child.

In January last year, the accused and the child moved to Riet River in Verulam where he recorded himself having sex with her.

On several occasions, he also made the child watch pornographic films to learn how to perform similar acts for money.

In addition, he used his cellphone to photograph and store images of the child wearing revealing adult underwear and lingerie.

Thereafter the accused distributed the images to a woman and others unknown to the state.

On other occasions, he photographed the child performing sexual acts on herself.

The state also alleged that an unknown male had engaged in sexual acts with the child.

This and the other acts allegedly continued until the accused was arrested on June 11 last year.

Speaking to the child’s aunt outside court, she said the details of the indictment were shocking to hear and she had cried at the thought of the heinous acts.

“He must pay for what he has done to her. It make me so angry to even imagine the things he did.

“We pray he is locked up for a very long time,” the aunt added.

Investigating detective, Warrant Officer Nevarge Lutchminarain, said that the state had sufficient evidence against the accused.