The Village Magistrate Court on Friday sentenced Moemedi Setlhako to 10 years in prison for defiling a 16-year old boy.
The 27-year-old Setlhako was found guilty of defiling the juvenile on November 21, 2011 in Phase II. The boy was one of the many youngsters who had enrolled with Setlhako’s football training academy.
When making her ruling, Magistrate Goabaone Ramapudi said defilement cases in Botswana have become so rampant.
“Looking at the nature of the offence, the numbers are so high, I do not know what the problem really is if elders who are supposed to protect children end up abusing them,” she said. “The message has to be clear that such incident should not be repeated,” she said.
Ramapudi, however, said that because Setlhako was a first time offender and that through his football training services, he gathered children from the streets and kept them busy, he was liable to the minimum sentence.
“He kept them busy and off the streets, and possibly from committing other crimes, he used his time to contribute to society,” said Ramapudi.
The magistrate further noted that the convict “pleaded with the court not to give him a harsh sentence because his brother is mentally disturbed, and that he was the one taking care of his family. I therefore sentence him to 10 years backdated to June 16, when he was convicted”.