Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute yesterday convicted Jeremia van Wyk of rape by way of penile penetration of a five-year-old girl.
Van Wyk denied that he raped his victim with his male genitalia, and insisted that he only used his finger to penetrate the girl.
He pleaded guilty to rape, but the State then refused to accept his plea because he did not admit to all elements of the offence.
According to a plea explanation his taxpayer-funded lawyer, Joseph Andreas, entered into the record, he admitted to abducting the child from her daycare centre and taking her to Katutura without her parents’ blessing. He, however, denied that he penetrated her with his male genitalia as he apparently “could not get it up.”
Maryn Swart, a forensic scientist, however, confirmed on Monday that a whitish substance found inside the girl’s private parts was semen from the accused. According to Swart, the substance was analysed and found to contain Van Wyk’s DNA.
“Having due regard to the forensic evidence adduced by the State, I am fortified in my conviction that there is no doubt that the sexual act was committed through the insertion of the accused’s penis into the victim’s vagina”, Judge Shivute said.
“The coercive circumstances are that the victim was affected by helplessness, and was under the age of 14 years in that she was five years of age. The accused was more than three years older than the victim as he was 49 years old at the time.”
Van Wyk informed the court that he picked up the little girl on the date in question around 13h00 from her school in the area of Khomasdal.
The convict explained that they walked from the victim’s school to Katutura, where he sexually violated the minor.
Following the sexual violation, he went to drink with his friends while in the company of the victim. It is his testimony that he was highly intoxicated from the drugs and alcohol he had consumed that day.
He further testified that he only realised what he had done after the effects of the drugs and alcohol started to wear off. The police arrested Van Wyk on 1 August 2019, after he was found in the company of a five-year-old girl who was reported to have gone missing from school earlier in the day.
The girl’s picture went viral that day on social media, with a short description that she was missing. Police reports at the time indicated that a member of the public recognised the minor, and reported it to the police. Prior to his arrest, he was released from a correctional facility nearly three years ago, having served a sentence for rape and murder.
Van Wyk remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates. He has a long list of previous convictions, starting in 1984 for petty theft and culminating in 2002 when he was sentenced to a combined 16 years for murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and attempting to defeat the course of justice.
The State is represented by Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura, and the case continues today with evidence on aggravation and submissions on the sentence.