15 years for rape

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MASERU – She says she was raped.

He denies the charge.

But he admits biting and tearing a piece of her ear during a scuffle.

High Court Judge Ts’eliso Monaphathi was however not moved by his plea of innocence.

The judge upheld a guilty verdict that had been passed by a Mohale’s Hoek magistrate on the 23-year-old Refiloe Mosehle.

The judge ruled that the crown had proved its case beyond all doubt.

Justice Monaphathi ordered that Mosehle should serve a 15-year jail term for sexually assaulting the complainant on November 9, 2009.

“I find that the crown has proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” Justice Monaphathi said.

According to the record of proceedings from Mohale’s Hoek, Mosehle had been found guilty of rape.

The magistrate had then referred the case to the High Court for sentencing.

He said he did not have the powers to impose a sentence that was commensurate with the crime.

Mosehle, who was clad in a grey blanket, told Justice Monaphati before he passed the sentence that he had not sexually assaulted the woman.

“She was my girlfriend and when I wanted to leave she blocked the doorway and bit my finger,” Mosehle said.

“She complained that I had come to her home late because she knew I was going out with another woman.”

Mosehle said as he was about to leave the woman blocked his way and grabbed him.

“She grabbed and bit my finger and I ended up biting her ear,” Mosehle said.

He denied raping the woman saying the allegation was a “plot to implicate him”.

His lawyer Advocate Khosi Lesuthu argued that his client should be acquitted of the rape charge.

“We are saying the charge is framed in such a way that there are some contradictions in the crown case,” Lesuthu said.

Justice Monaphathi however ruled that the accused had been correctly convicted by the magistrate court and slapped him with a 15-year jail term.

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