The prosecutor general has decided to arraign former police reservist Johann Wickus Maree with 64 criminal charges and have him tried in the High Court.
Maree (50), who stands accused of sexually assaulting under-aged boys and using them to produce pornography that was shared and sold on the internet, was informed of the prosecutor general’s decision yesterday when he made his appearance before magistrate Celma Amadhila in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
According to the prosecutor general’s decision, amongst the 64 criminal charges, 16 are counts of rape, 29 counts of committing an immoral act with a child under the age of 16 and 15 counts of indecent assault, amongst others.
The prosecutor general further indicated that Maree is to make his first appearance in the High Court on 9 February. The decision was read into the record by State prosecutor Rowan van Wyk.
The prosecution is alleging Maree sexually assaulted under-aged boys and used them to produce pornography that he shared and sold on the internet.
He has denied all charges thus far.
At the time of his arrest in April 2020, the police indicated they have been carrying out an investigation in collaboration with the Netherlands police, the South African police and Interpol since 2019.
The police investigations centred on pornographic video recordings of minor boys that have been loaded to the “dark web” of the internet.
The videos were allegedly connected to the username Maree.
Maree, who worked as a private investigator and sports photographer, was allegedly operating a website under the name ‘Boy Idols’.
Through police investigations, it was discovered that Maree sold pictures of boys modelling clothes and swimwear.
According to the police, videos obtained through investigations show minors performing various sexual acts in bathrooms.
Other videos were filmed in toilets and swimming pools at sporting events in Windhoek.
These videos were also allegedly sold on the internet.
Although the police have a confession from Maree in which he admits to all the allegations, he testified during his failed bail application that he made the confession under duress.
He testified that the police made a deal with him that should he confess to some of the allegations, they would allow him to see his dogs, and they would not involve the victims and their children in the case.
He was also promised that he would be released on bail.
He said the police told him what to write in his confession.
Maree said he agreed to the deal, as he did not want the children to be subjected to cross-examination in court as he regards them as family.
He said the police are yet to fulfil their end of the deal, as he has not seen his dogs since his arrest on 30 April 2020.
He has been in police custody ever since.