JOHANN Wikus Maree, a 49-year-old man accused of sexually abusing and producing pornographic material of more than twenty underage boys, today made his first court appearance at the Windhoek Magistrate Court.
Maree, who also goes by the name Juan, this afternoon appeared before Magistrate Celma Amadhila on a total of 40 counts related to the sexual abuse of children between the ages of 9 and 17.
He has been charged with 8 counts of rape, 8 counts of indecent assault and 8 counts of committing an immoral act with children under 16.
In addition, Maree is also charged with 8 counts on the organised crime act in respect of minor trafficking, 8 counts under the child protection act, by employing a child for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, and inducing a child to be used for purposes of child pornography.
State Prosecutor, Bernadine Bertolini told the presiding officer that although Maree is currently charged with 40 accounts, the State has identified an additional 14 victims, while 12 more young victims still need to be traced and their statements taken.
Bertolini put it on record that the State is opposing bail as investigations are at an early stage, and further charges still need to be brought forward.
“We also have fears that the suspect may interfere with state witnesses who are all children and vulnerable. The State also objects to hail due to the seriousness of the case and the fact that the suspect is charged with 40 counts at this stage. In addition, the accused person is also a flight risk as he has ties in South Africa and Australia.m,” Bertolini stated.
Maree was arrested last week Friday at his residence in Windhoek, Cimbebasia, following police investigations into his alleged illegal dealing.
Maree informed the court that he would be opting for a lawyer through legal aid.