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Daughter withdraws rape charges

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — The trial of two parents who are facing charges of sexually molesting their 16-year-old daughter took a new twist on Monday when the girl asked the prosecution to withdraw the charges.

The father and mother of the 16-year-old whose names we have withheld to protect the child who is a minor, were being charged with sexually abusing their daughter since 2004.

The girl had accused her father of having sexual intercourse with her against her will and that her mother had consistently failed to report the acts of abuse.

But on Monday the case took a dramatic twist when the prosecutor, Molemohi Ntebele, told the court that the complainant had asked that the case be withdrawn as she “had created the stories of abuse”.

According to the prosecution the girl said she had fabricated stories that her father had sexually molested her.

She also indicated that she no longer wanted to proceed with the court case.

“I strongly request that this matter be withdrawn from court. I also ask that my parents forgive me.

“I made the allegations (of abuse) because my father prevented me from moving about at night, that is why I told wrong stories about them,” she said in her statement.

“(The) accused never abused me, I really ask for forgiveness and I ask that the matter be withdrawn.”

The girl made it clear that she had not been influenced in any manner to withdraw the case.

“I voluntarily never want this case to proceed.

“My father stopped me from moving at night that is why I created this story. I request that this matter be withdrawn from court,” the girl added in her statement.

Maseru magistrate Kakapa Tau then withdrew the charges.

The parents were charged with contravening section (2) of the Sexual Offences Act No.3 of 2003.

The couple was also charged with an alternative charge of contravening the same Sexual Offences Act by committing a sexual act with the girl and failing to report it.

However, the mother was granted bail on April 28 when the couple first appeared in court.

Advocate Ts’enase Ts’enase applied bail on her behalf saying that their other children who were aged three and 16 had no one to look after them if she was to be detained with her husband.

The mother was given free bail when the case was postponed to this week.

The father only gained his freedom on Monday when the magistrate withdrew the charges.

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