Serial rapist faces life term

MASERU — A 34-year-old serial rapist from Mohale’s Hoek could face life in jail for raping a minor seven months ago.

Bereng Moshoeshoe was convicted of raping the 10-year-old minor in Mohale’s Hoek in April. The Mohale’s Hoek magistrate’s court referred the case to the High Court for sentencing after it decided Moshoeshoe deserved a stiffer sentence.

The magistrate’s court is not empowered to impose stiffer sentences.

The prosecution submitted in the High Court this week that Moshoeshoe deserved life imprisonment because he was a serial offender.

“Over a period of nine years the accused has been convicted under the same Act (Sexual Offences Act of 2003) on four occasions.

“Section 32 (b) (iv) of the Act deals with the subsequent convictions.

“His conviction merits life sentence.

“The law says in the case of the second or subsequent conviction the accused should be sentenced to life in prison,” the prosecution said.

But Moshoeshoe’s lawyer Advocate Letzadzo Kometsi pleaded with the High Court to impose a lesser sentence that could allow Moshoeshoe to reform and go back into society.

“It is true that the section provides for life sentence in the circumstances.

“But considering his age I urge this court to impose a sentence less than life imprisonment.

“The court should look at deterrence and transformation of the accused,” Kometsi said.

However, High Court Judge Gabriel Mofolo said he would deliver his ruling next Thursday after investigating Moshoeshoe’s mental state.

“There must be something wrong with him (Moshoeshoe).

“He should have been taken for a test during the trial.

“It seems the magistrate’s court treated this case as an ordinary case.

“He might have appreciated the charge but I am concerned with his state of mind.

“I postpone this matter to the 11th of November 2010 because I have to consult,” Justice Mofolo said.

Moshoeshoe was first convicted of rape in 2002 and served five years in prison.

He was also convicted last year for sodomising two minor boys.

The prosecution says Moshoeshoe deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

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