13- and 17-years imprisonment for lewd acts with minors
On Thursday July t, 2022, the Court of First Instance ruled in the case against the suspects B.E.H.S. and J.D.W. Both were suspected of multiple (attempted) rapes and/or sexual assault of several young girls.
These acts were committed over a long period of time. In addition, S. was suspected of possession of firearms and marijuana and W. of producing and possessing child pornography. The case came to light when one of the victims talked about the abuse to caregivers and a social worker at her school.
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The children aged between 5 and 11 came from vulnerable families and stayed with the defendants in the expectation that they would receive tutoring. The Court of First Instance found all the facts proven.
The Court of First Instance found that the statements made by the victims were credible. The Court of First Instance also made use of chain evidence. This means that the evidence in one case, if certain conditions are met, can also be used in another case.
In W.’s case, the Court of First Instance was not convinced that the defendant acted under pressure from co-defendant S. The Court also held defendant W. fully accountable for her acts. The court, in determining the punishment, considered that the convicts had not taken responsibility for their actions and that they had put their own lustful feelings before the rights of the children, thereby severely violating the physical and sexual integrity of the victims. W. was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Defendant S. was sentenced to 17 years in prison. The claims for compensation on behalf of some of the victims were awarded. The Prosecutor’s Office, together with KPSM, will continue to invest in investigating reports of sexual crimes and taking these to court with sufficient supporting evidence.
Anyone who may have experienced sexual abuse is strongly urged to report this to police. The OM understands that there can be fear about reporting an abuser, but this case has shown that just one person speaking up can bring about action.
In this case, a victim confided in a trusted person, a teacher, who took steps to address the complaint. If you witnessed or experienced any of this or similar abuse, reach out to the police as soon as possible.