A 53-year-old man convicted of 32 rape counts involving 10 minor boys, was sentenced to an effective 68 years imprisonment by acting Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka yesterday.
Siboleka said he could find no compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed sentences and as such, he treated several counts perpetrated on individual complainants as one for the purpose of sentencing.
In the alternative, the judge said, the cumulative effect of the mandatory 15-year sentence on each count would total 480 years imprisonment, which he found to be grossly unrealistic, unjust and inhumane. He convicted Mervin Nguyapeua last year on 32 counts of rape.
According to the State, Nguyapeua forced at least 10 boys between the ages of 13 and 15 years to sodomise him after he stimulated their private parts.
The first incident allegedly occurred in 2013 and it continued until February 2016 when he was arrested. He sexually assaulted the first boy who was 14 years old on six occasions during 2013 and 2014, thereafter, a 13-year-old boy once, another 14-year-old once, and a 15-year-old on three different occasions.
He then raped a 14-year-old boy in January 2015, on two occasions and again during the second term. He was further accused of raping another 14-year-old during the second term of January 2015 on two occasions as well as another boy aged 14 on three occasions during 2015.
In September 2015, he sexually assaulted another 14-year-old on three occasions before he committed another six sexual assaults on a 13-year-old boy, and also raped the same boy in May 2015. He was arrested on 1 March 2016.
The judge said he took into account the fact that Nguyapeua has spent seven years in pre-trial custody and that he was a first offender. However, the judge said, he has grossly and irreparably violated the children, shattering his official duty of care and diligence into small pieces.
“Society is outraged on the sexual contamination of school children, even more so when these evils are perpetrated by an elderly person such as the accused,” the judge said. “In the eyes of society, the accused is a parent in his own right.” He went on to say that Nguyapeua, in the fulfilment of his mandate as a hostel superintendent, should have acted in the same way the victims’ parents would have in all relevant times and circumstances.
“The sexual molestation experienced by these school pupil victims at the hands of the accused has the potential to easily sway them to have more sexual lust as opposed to the required undivided attention to their schoolwork.
This sorry eventuality may result in these victims’ bright futures and the contribution they may later have had to their own country plunged into the sewer,” Judge Siboleka stressed. According to the judge, the seriousness of the offences lies in the fact that all the victims were primary school children between the ages of 13 to 17, at the time of the molestation.
The fact that he showed the victims pornographic footage of his cell phone in order to entice them into the sexual acts were aggravating, the prosecution asserted and the judge agreed, saying exposing such young children to sexual intercourse footage is a dangerous contamination to their wellbeing and future.
Nguyapeua denied the rape acts to the end of his trial and said he could not show remorse or apologise for something he did not do. “I want the court to let me go because I have not done anything wrong. All the people who testified during the trial lied,” he claimed.