Teenager in Tears over Photo Evidence
By Piet Van Niekerk
The Heald [South Africa]
August 8, 2006
A Teenager from Summerstrand broke down in tears as she was asked to identify herself and other women in an album of hard-core pornography handed in as evidence in a string of charges ranging from rape, indecent assault, drug abuse and the making of child pornography against a well-known Summerstrand church pastor, who is her stepfather.
The teenager, who may not be named, testified in the High Court against the man who became her adoptive stepfather after she was taken from her parents at the age of six because of their substance abuse.
The dark-haired girl – dressed in jeans, a white top and black jacket – was calm throughout her testimony for the State, until she was asked to identify the girls in pictures printed from a data CD allegedly made by the pastor. The evidence remained sealed by the prosecuting team until the court hearing started yesterday morning to protect the girls in the pictures.
The 54-year-old pastor, who remains in custody, faces several charges of raping his adopted child during the period 2003 to 2005 while she was between the ages of 15 and 17. He is also accused of indecent assault involving sodomy and the use of sex toys on the teenager.
In addition, he has been charged with crimen injuria for spying on the teenager and his own daughter while they were naked by installing secret video cameras in their bathroom.
He was arrested on May 18 last year after the girl reported the abuse to her boyfriend who then reported it to the police. Police found several vibrators, pornographic videos, a disc containing pornographic material, condoms and drugs in his house.
The pastor, who pleaded not guilty, also faces charges for the possession and creation of child pornography and the possession and use of drugs such as cocaine, dagga and Ecstacy.
Earlier yesterday the girl testified how the pastor started to caress her in 2002 and, during a stay in a guest house in Graaff-Reinet, allowed her to drink and smoke. When she became intoxicated, he had sexual intercourse with her.
This continued happening until 2005 when he introduced her to drugs on a regular basis. They also watched pornography together before and while having intercourse.
She said he took explicit photographs of her which he published on the internet and made video recordings of her dancing naked.
She said she now realised that he took control of her and in the process took away her childhood. He also turned her family, including her mother, against her. All that was left now, was hurt, she said.
The gray-haired churchman – dressed in a gray jersey and a black leather jacket – sat motionless in the dock while the teenager testified how he needed to inject himself with drugs to get an erection.
She said he encouraged her to take Ecstacy when she refused to allow him to have his way with her.
The court adjourned shortly after the girl broke down in tears. She will be cross-examined when the trial resumes this morning.
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