Justice Momoh Jah Stevens, presiding at the Siaka Steven Street High Court, handed down a 35-year prison sentence to Joseph Lamin after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old child.

Lamin stood before the court on a single count of sexual penetration, a violation of Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No 12 of 2012, which was later repealed and replaced by Section 4 of the Sexual Offense (Amendment) Act of 2019 Act No. 8 of 2019.

The crime took place on July 28, 2020, in Freetown, where Lamin engaged in sexual penetration with a child below the age of eighteen. During the trial, Lamin pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. The prosecution requested that the case be heard by a judge alone, and the court granted the application. Four witnesses, including the parents of the victim, testified against the accused.

Justice Stevens, delivering the ruling, noted that there was strong corroboration of the allegations made against Lamin.

After the prosecution concluded its case, Lamin was given the opportunity to testify but chose to rely on the statement he had made to the police. The victim, in her testimony, recounted how Lamin attacked her when she went to deliver the items, he had asked her to buy. She stated that he covered her mouth and sexually penetrated her.

The prosecution has convincingly proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused is therefore found guilty of sexual penetration and is hereby sentenced to thirty-five years in prison,” Justice Stevens declared.

The verdict serves as a stern warning to individuals who commit sexual offenses, especially those involving minors.

The court’s decision reflects the seriousness with which such crimes are treated and the commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of children. It also sends a message that perpetrators will face severe consequences for their actions.

The ruling has been welcomed by child rights organizations and advocates, who commend the swift and just handling of the case.

They hope that this judgment will encourage victims to come forward, as justice can be served when the legal system supports and protects them.