KOTA KINABALU: A restaurant manager has been jailed 12 years after being convicted of raping a 13-old-girl a year ago.
Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad also ordered Riduan Masmud, 41, to be given two lashes of the rotan.
However, she allowed a stay of execution of the sentence after Riduan’s counsel Ram Singh said they were appealing to the High Court against his client’s conviction and sentencing.
She allowed him a bail of RM15,000 and ordered one of the two sureties should be Riduan’s first wife.
Riduan, a father of four children aged between two and 17, had been charged with raping the schoolgirl under Section 376 of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years.
The offence was said to have occurred in a parked vehicle on a road near Kionsom Waterfall in Inanam between 9am and 10am on Feb 18 last year.
He subsequently married the schoolgirl who became his second wife in May.
Ummu Kalthom had convicted Riduan of the offence on Jan 24 and he was supposed to be sentenced three days later.
However, she issued a warrant for his arrest on Jan 27 after he failed to turn up for the hearing.
In passing the sentence on Monday, Ummu Kalthom said she had to mete out a penalty that would serve as a deterrent to other would be offenders.
"The fact that the maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years jail reflects the seriousness of the offence,” she said, adding that it was not possible for the court to place Riduan on a bond of good behaviour for his offence as suggested by Ram.
“This would be sending a wrong message to would be offenders,” Ummu Kalthom added.
She noted that during the trial, it was ascertained that the girl had met Riduan through the social network Facebook where he posed as a 24-year-old man.
Ummu Kalthom noted that on that day, the girl accompanied by a friend were picked by Riduan at Inanam town. He then drove them towards the Kionsom Waterfall area where he raped her in the car in the presence of the friend.
“There was evidence to show that it was the victim’s idea for them to meet,” she said.
“However, her actions cannot mitigate the behaviour of the accused, a matured adult who should have better than to exploit the reckless actions of an underaged girl,” Ummu Kalthom said.
"The accused is not a lovestruck teenage boy. He is a 40-year-old family man. Unfortunately, being a married man and a father of four could not stop the accused’s desire or lust,” she said.
Noting that the girl was just 12 years and six months old when the offence was committed, Ummu Kalthom said: "A mature adult who has intercourse with children should not expect a lenient sentence.”
She said that since the incident, the girl had stopped going to school and has been deprived of her “teenage life” by becoming a housewife.
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