A man convicted of several offences, including the rape of his teenage step-daughter, could now face an even more severe sentence in his appeal.
In the lower court hearing, he was sentenced to eight years in prison, with six years on probation. However, now that the case is back in court for an appeal, the prosecution is demanding a more severe ruling of eight years behind bars with only four years on probation.
The prosecution said it viewed a sentence the defendant spoke during his October 2014 trial as symptomatic of his objectifying attitude towards the young woman, a teenager at the time of the attack. Speaking about his step-daughter, he had said that he could not bear the thought of "any one else playing with the doll".
Step-father acted like a "jilted lover"
Before the abuse took place, the then-teenager had just met her boyfriend. Her step-father reportedly acted like a jilted lover and started behaving aggressively towards the young couple. In court, the accused maintained his innocence and claimed that his step-daughter made the claims up in order to harm him.
While there is no evidence nor any witnesses that could support the teenage girl's claims, the prosecution is satisfied that she is telling the truth. On Tuesday, the prosecutors explained that the she had no reason to make up the claims and had been extremely clear in her testimony.
Caught in bed with his step-daughter
The now-young woman's lawyer told the court how the victim's mother had once caught her husband in bed with her teenage daughter after hearing her screams. He claimed he had only wanted to give his step-daughter a good night kiss. The teenager's mother wasn't convinced. But instead of getting rid of her husband, she decided to send her daughter to a children's home.
Roland Michel, the accused man's lawyer, explained his client's version of how it all happened. After voicing his opposition to his step-daughter's new relationship, she started claiming that he abused her from the age of nine. Maintaining her position, the teenage girl eventually convinced her mother of the supposed abuse. Her mother started supporting her daughter without having ever seen any evidence to support her claims, the defendant's lawyer said.
The appeal court is to rule on 24 April.