THE Kasama High Court has sentenced a 32-year-old bricklayer of Kapoka village in Kasama to 45 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 14-year-old stepdaughter and infecting her with a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Chrispin Chisanga was charged with defilement.
Particulars of the offence were that between October 1, and November 30, last year, in Kasama, Chisanga had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16. He denied the charge.
In passing the sentence, Ndola High Court judge Isaac Chali, sitting in Kasama last Friday, indicated that Chisanga deserved to be punished severely as a lesson to would-be offenders.
Mr Justice Chali also observed that Chisanga did not only betray the victim’s trust, but also that of his wife who left the children in his custody.
“After going through the record and considering the evidence adduced in the lower court, I am satisfied that there was sufficient evidence on which to convict accused of the subject offence. The conviction shall therefore stand.
“As for the sentence, the law prescribes a minimum prison term of 15 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. Although the accused is a first offender, I think he deserves to be punished severely enough to send a message to would-be offenders who abuse children under their care. Accused abused his position of trust as a parent by defiling his step-daughter while the mother, his wife, was away from home. It went on long enough for the child to even stop feeling any pain; she was only suffering from the threat of death if she revealed the abuse to anyone. For these reasons, I hereby sentence accused to a term of 45 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from December 16, 2014, being the date of your arrest,” Judge Chali said.
During trial, the victim narrated to the court that her stepfather had sex with her on more than three occasions on the pretext that he wanted her to sweep his bedroom.
During that time, the victim’s mother was away as she had taken her ill brother out of Kasama for specialised medical attention.
She narrated that Chisanga would abuse her when her two siblings were not at home. The girl said when she tried to scream, he pushed a cloth gag in her mouth, and further threatened to kill her with a knife if she told anyone about what had happened.
Further, the court heard that the victim only relived the ordeal to her aunt, who then took her to her biological father in Lusaka.
In his defence, Chisanga, who gave evidence on oath, denied having had sex with the victim. He alleged that the victim’s cousin used to take the girl out for prostitution and when he reprimanded her about it, she would insult him.