Peter Tshemese, a 62-year-old man from Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for raping a 15-month-old baby by a court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday

According to NPA spokesperson, Anelisa Ngcakani, Tshemese penetrated the baby girl with his finger in October 2018.

The baby’s mother is a family friend of the Tshemese family and left her child in the care of Tshemese’s wife while she went to work.

“Tshemese’s wife heard the child crying in a strange manner, she went to investigate and found the baby girl in the same bed as her husband.

“She discovered that the buttons of baby’s romper had been loosened and that her diaper had blood on it,” Ngcakani said.

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The prosecutor in the case, Advocate Shandre Grootboom, said Tshemese had taken advantage of an innocent baby while in a position of trust as a father figure to the girl.

“He deprived the baby of her innocence. She was unable to protect herself,” Grootboom said, adding that Tshemese was not remorseful.

During sentencing, Judge Belinda Hartle said Tshemese did not take responsibility, reiterating that he was not remorseful of his actions.

Hartle said Tshemese had betrayed his own wife and the parents of the baby.

“You took advantage of the situation and the vulnerability of the baby,” Hartle said.

She added, however, that a life sentence would be disproportionate because Tshemese is 62-years-old and a first offender.

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