Pastor gets 14-year imprisonment for raping minor

Stop rape
Stop rape

Mogoditshane Chief Magistrate Gofaone Morweng has sentenced convicted pastor, Mmoloki Phela to 14 years in prison for raping a church patron, also a minor.

Phela was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl at the time when he claimed that he was baptising her after taking her to the river, where he then penetrated her without consent. When delivering her sentence, Magistrate Morweng outlined that she had to take careful consideration in passing her sentence because the convicted Mphela saved the court's time and resources by pleading guilty to the charge. “The accused person, Phela, was convicted on his own plea of guilty on a single count of rape simpliciter contrary to section 141 as read with section 142 (1) (ii) of the Penal Code (Cap 08:01) Laws Botswana,” the magistrate said.

With that, the magistrate also outlined that she had to consider the interests of society and the gravity of the offence, hence the 14-year sentence. “The offence with which he stands convicted of is serious in nature as it could be gleaned from the intentions of the Legislature in terms of section 142 (1) (ii) of the Penal Code (As amended). The complainant in this matter was aged 12 years at the time of her sexual encounter with the accused person. She was lured to a river in the guise that she was going to be offered some spiritual help. The accused occupied a position of trust for the fact that he identified himself as a pastor at Jeso Re Mmone Apostolic Church,” Morweng said. Upon careful consideration of all factors, the magistrate handed down the sentence. “In light of the foregoing, the following order is made: The accused person Mmoloki Phela is sentenced to an effective imprisonment term of 14 years for the offence of rape contrary to section 141 as read with section 142 (1) (ii) of the Penal Code (Cap 08:01) Laws of Botswana,” Morweng read out the sentence. She highlighted the sentence is backdated to his first date of incarceration.

The convicted Mphela was advised of his right to appeal his sentence at the High Court within 14 days of the verdict.

Editor's Comment
Women unite for progress

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