A stroke of luck

Leungo Mokgwathi

Man acquitted of defilement charge

Magistrate says 16-year-old lived recklessly

Blames her lifestyle on parental negligence

A 32-year-old man who was caught in a sticky situation, which resulted in a defilement charge, breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday when he was discharged and acquitted from the offence.

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The acquittal followed the State’s failure to prove that he knew the girl’s age. Extension II Senior Magistrate Kamogelo Mmesi, ruled that Masego “Lucky” Monyai, who was caught in bed with a 16-year-old in 2021, was not guilty of the alleged offence.

The court heard that on June, 11, 2021, the girl’s older sister walked in on Monyai and the girl in bed together. When questioned by officers at Modipane Police Station, the two are said to have admitted to having had consensual sexual intercourse.

However, they revealed that the subject of age had not come up in any of their interactions. It was also revealed that Monyai had assumed that the girl was of age since they met at a bar, where she was drinking.

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In her ruling, Mmesi stated that the duties of the State were to prove whether there indeed was sexual activity between the accused and the young girl, whether she was under the age of 18 at the time of the offence, and whether the accused knew her age at the time.

She pointed out that while the first two facts were indisputable, the State had failed to make a case that the accused knew that the girl was 16 at the time.

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From the State’s five witnesses, Mmesi resolved that girl lived a “reckless” lifestyle of underage drinking and sexual activity, which were “equivalent to the acts of an adult.” This, according to her, may have been influenced by parental negligence.

Earlier, the Investigating Officer had also testified that she had the physical features of an adult, describing her as “fat and tall, with a bit of meat on her hips and buttocks.”

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Due to these factors, Mmesi revealed that she believed that the accused was not aware of the girl’s age and proceeded to proclaim him as not guilty.

In an interview outside court, Monyai expressed relief, further stating that he was deceived by the girl he loved, who later turned on him when faced by pressure from her sister.

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“These past two years have been a nightmare, I even lost my job. However, I am grateful that God has liberated me from those who were plotting against me and I can now start afresh,” he said.

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