One of the victims of a former police reservist, who is facing serious charges involving minor and vulnerable children, said he warned the accused not to sexually violate his younger brother but he was too late to protect him.
“I warned him not to do the things that he did to me to my brother. But by then, it was already too late,” the now 20-year-old victim said in a statement read into the record by the State prosecutor Phelem Like during a formal bail hearing in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court this week.
The victim narrated how he was allegedly sexually abused by Johann Wickus Maree on several occasions from 2014 when he was 13 years old.
The victim said Maree (50) invited him to his home several times for barbeques after field practice.
It was during those barbeques that he would show him pornographic videos, sex toys and offer him alcohol.
The offer for alcohol would be followed by Maree’s requests to have sexual relations with him, which he declined.
Despite his refusal, Maree would forge ahead to sexually violate him.
The victim explicitly narrated one incident in which Maree offered him alcohol, which resulted in him passing out.
“When I woke up, I felt something was not right. I felt discomfort from my behind. I told him straight up to stop doing those things to me,” said the victim.
The victims allegedly discovered later that Maree had taken videos and pictures of him.
The State is objecting the release of Maree on bail pending finalisation of his case.
State witness Cristina Simaho, head of the Namibian police subdivision unit for Gender-Based Violence Protection, supports the state’s sentiments of keeping Maree in police custody.
Simaho testified that Maree has the potential to interfere with the victims, as he knows who they are, and where they reside and attend school.
Maree, according to Simaho, gave a list of all his victims, who are more than 34.
The list forms part of Maree’s confession, which he is now disputing.
Simaho said the victims and their families are traumatised by what has happened.
“He was trusted by the victims’ parents, as he convinced them that they would make a lot of money from modelling,” said Simaho.
Maree allegedly sold himself to the victims and their guardians as a sports coach and modelling agent.
Commissioner Nelius Becker, the first State witness, said having been a police officer and private detective places Maree in a good position to interfere with investigations and state witnesses, as he knows all his victims.
Maree is charged with 40 counts, ranging from rape, indecent assault, committing an immoral act with a child under the age of 16, trafficking in persons by recruiting minor boys to subject them to sexual exploitation – to charges of using children to create child pornography.
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.
Although the police have a confession from Maree in which he admits to all the allegations, he testified this week he made the confession under duress.
He testified 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 that they would not involve the victims and their children in the case.
He was also promised 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.
As an assurance to the court to release him on bail, Maree has offered to live on a farm at Groot Aub near Windhoek.
He says there are no children within the vicinity of the farm.
Furthermore, he has indicated that he would not attempt to interfere with witnesses or with investigations, as he does not want additional charges to the long list that he already has.
The matter is set to continue on 1 October for submission before judgement.