Malawi Police officers in Mzuzu city are keeping in custody a thirteen year old boy for raping a five year old girl and infecting her with a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Mzuzu Police Station Public Relations Officer Martin Bwanali confirmed the arrest. The identities of the boy and the girl have been withheld by Malawi24.
According to Bwanali, the incident occurred on 18th April 2016 at around 16:00 hours at Masasa in Mzuzu.
The suspect, who is a neighbor to the victim, invited the girl together with her friend to his house under the pretext that he would teach them how to make a toy gun.
However, he ended up forcing himself on one of the little girls.
By then, the suspect’s parents were away in the city for business while the victim’s mother had not yet returned from work.
The teenager cautioned the girls to keep what happened secret.
Nevertheless, beans were spilled by the victim’s friend who told her mother. In turn the woman advised the victim not to take a bath until her mother came.
The victim’s mother learnt the story after knocking off from work. The matter was reported to Mzuzu Police Station where officers sent the victim to Mzuzu health centre for examination.
A medical report indicated that not only did defilement take place but also that the five year-old victim was found with a sexually transmitted disease.
Martin Bwanali further said that even though the suspect is young, he will not benefit from pre-trial diversion arrangement.
“The suspect although young, is not going to benefit from pre-trial diversion arrangement as provided for under section 112 of the Child Care Protection Justice Act because the offence committed is a serious one. The fourth schedule of the said Child Care Protection Justice Act principally states that children charged with defilement inter alia, shall not be considered for diversion”, said Bwanali.
On the other hand, section 14 of the Penal Code principally says its only children under twelve years who are presumed incapable of having carnal knowledge.
The suspect in this case is aged thirteen years.
The section further states those children who are aged between ten and fourteen are criminally responsible on the condition that when committing the offence the suspect had capacity to know what he was doing was an offence. Bwanali also indicated that the child knew what he was doing.
“By warning the girls to keep the transaction secret is a clear manifestation to Police that the suspect knew the act was illegal.” added Bwanali.
In view of the aforementioned relevant law, the suspect will appear in court to answer the charge of defilement which is contrary to section 138 of the Penal Code.
The charge attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Meanwhile Police in the city are advising parents not to leave their children alone at home.
Children should be always left with a mature person who can be able to guard for them.