THE case of rape against a 50-year-old man, who was arrested on a charge of raping a 22-year-old Down Syndrome daughter of his girlfriend at Oshakati some months ago has been withdrawn.
According to police spokesperson Warrant Officer Frieda Shikole, the victim’s ordeal was only discovered after her mother, who was under the impression that her child was sick, took her to the clinic. During the examination medical personnel discovered that the young woman was in actual fact pregnant.
Questioning of the victim pointed at the mother’s boyfriend as the suspect and he was duly arrested, but the police investigation into the matter has brought new information to light and the accused person was acquitted of the alleged rape and released.
She added that, the mother who registered a case of rape against her boyfriend on behalf of her daughter because she is a person living with a disability (PLWD) had to withdraw the case.
“The case against the accused person was withdrawn because detectives found the person actually responsible for the girl’sordeal. He accepted responsibility for the sexual abuse,” said Shikole.
Warrant Officer Shikole expressed her dismay with the matter and said that the rape and sexual abuse of persons living with disabilities has become a common occurrence in the region.
“In most cases people living with disabilities are raped by people close to them and this is unacceptable. People living with disabilities deserve the same respect as anybody else,” she said before urging caretakers to promptly report any suspicious events or behaviour to the police.
According to general medical practitioner that Informante spoke to, depending on the degree of disabilities a person suffering from Down Syndrome can sometime be allowed to give birth as they are quite able to function normally and do a lot of things, but the pregnancy is usually terminated in the case of a person with very limited abilities.
“The law says if someone is mentally incapable and the person was raped than abortion can legally be done under medical supervision in a hospital,” said the doctor, adding that there is a law that protect people who are raped and incapable of caring for the child.
Moreover, it is not medically proven that a child with someone with Down Syndrome would also be born with Down Syndrome, but it all depends to the genetic inheritance from the mother and the suspect.