PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - The storm around the sentencing of a Plettenberg Bay man convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl during visits to his home in 2017 has barely subsided and three more cases involving sex crimes against children have crawled out of the town's woodwork.
The sentencing of Fisanthoek resident Mike Wise on 24 January elicited an outcry from children's rights groups over the past week, with some labelling it as "lenient" and not in line with the crime. Local anti-child abuse organisation Green Hearts spokesperson Janet Harding said three more cases involving sex crimes against children made it onto the court roll on Monday 4 February.
'Rape of child with special needs'
The first matter involved the alleged rape of a child with special needs. The accused is also believed to have mental issues and therefore the matter was postponed to 28 February for him to undergo a psychological evaluation at the Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town.
He is currently number 98 on the waiting list for a bed at the hospital.
"There is good news in this regard. In future it will be possible to obtain this evaluation from any medical practitioner who is known to the patient. This will alleviate this dreadful backlog situation," Harding said.
Another man appeared in court on the same day. The case involves allegations of the rape of his stepdaughter.
The matter was postponed to 4 April for a social worker's report and other statements to be submitted. The accused is currently out on bail. "We are shattered that he was granted bail."
A third local man also appeared in court on Monday for the alleged sexual assault of a young girl. The matter was postponed to 7 March for further investigation. He too is currently out on bail. None of the suspects can be named at this stage as they have not yet pleaded.
"We are horrified by all these incidents. We are pleased to be meeting with members of the police force who deal with these matters daily, and trust that our interaction will bring clarity on so many issues," Harding said.
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