An elderly male, who rented out a property to a woman and her young daughter, has been sentenced to three years for having lewd conduct with a child for several years.
According to local media, the 81-year-old landlord was found guilty of sexual exploitation and child abuse in a case where he was accused of having lascivious conduct with a little girl for five years until she was ten years old.
The little girl had been living with her mother at a residential shed right across from the defendant’s house yard, with mom taking care of rent by cleaning his house and taking care of his wife who had cancer.
In 2013, when the little girl’s father was deported, the defendant had began fondling the 5-year-old child and touching her inappropriately many times despite her resistance.
'I only touched her a little bit because she liked it,' he had told police.
Local media also reported that the man sexually abused the little girl even while he was giving her rides on his motorcycle.
The court heard that the defendant’s behaviour had gone on for five years, with the 81-year-old carrying out lewd and indecent acts against the little girl in a total of 16 separate instances.
During a police investigation, the man had told authorities that the young girl was seeking his affection on her own.
“I only touched her a little bit because she liked it,” he had told police.
Mom told girl not to say anything
The mother, who was said to have had some knowledge of his behaviour, had told her daughter not to say anything otherwise they would be kicked out of their home. She also reportedly gave her tips on how to avoid the abuse.
According to reports following the court hearing, the mother was described as a low-income parent with nowhere else to live, prompting the little girl to put up with the abuse.
The case came to the attention of local authorities when a friend reportedly got wind of the situation and spoke with a social services administrator, who then notified police. According to details heard in court, the victim had friends over for her birthday and seemed visibly stressed out in her effort to keep her friends away from her tormentor.
Child Services then got involved and removed the little girl from her mother’s care. The daughter was placed in a state facility until her parent could secure a safe environment for the family of two.
A criminal court sentenced the senior citizen to three years in prison, with the judges highlighting the posttraumatic stress the girl has to endure following her ordeal.
“These types of offences undermine human existence and dignity and they are an affront to the victim’s personality, causing multiple mental issues that are difficult to mend given the delicate nature of a child’s mental state,” the judges said.
The judges took into consideration that the man, who was having serious health issues, had a clean criminal record and had lost his wife to cancer, while also taking note that cases of child abuse were on the rise.