A 17-year-old boy was slapped with a seven-year jail term for raping a seven-year-old girl in the presence of her four-year-old brother.
The accused was employed by the complainant's uncle as a herdboy.
The incident occurred in Chisora Village, Chief Bota in Zaka. He was charged for contravening Section 65 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, rape and was sentenced to seven years in jail.
Masvingo regional magistrate Ms Esther Muremba suspended three years of the sentence for five years on condition he is not within that period convicted of a similar offence. He will therefore serve an effective four years in prison.
Circumstances as presented by the prosecutor Mr Frank Chirairo were that sometime in August 2010 the accused arrived at the complainant's homestead and found her playing outside with her four-year-old brother. The accused called the complainant and ordered her to remove her panties but she refused.
He accused then got hold of the complainant's hand and pulled her closer to him and forcibly removed her clothes. The complainant however managed to break loose and run away but the accused gave chase and caught up with her.
Mr Chirairo told the court that the accused lifted the complainant who was crying and took her back to the homestead where he opened her mother's bedroom while the four-year-old followed.
The accused is said to have ordered the four-year-old out of the room and threatened to beat him up if he refused but he remained rooted in the room watching what the complainant wanted to do to his crying sister.
The State further proved that the accused undressed the girl and forced her to lie on her mother's bed where he raped her once and threatened her with death if she reported the incident to anyone.
She, however, reported the case to her mother who later reported it to the police leading to the arrest of the accused. The girl was taken for medical examination that confirmed the rape.