PUTRAJAYA: They are people trusted by the children.
But sadly, parents, lecturers, a tennis coach and even a pastor and an imam are part of the list of alleged offenders brought to the Special Criminal Court on sexual crimes against children so far.
The latest additions are foreigners who have been charged with various sexual offences against children here, said Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar.
“As of last month, 15 foreigners were charged in court. All the accused are not related to the victims,” she said in an interview.
The youngest offender to be charged in court was slightly over 18 years old.
“The oldest was 77,” Latifah said, adding that the victims were aged between one and 17.
A total of 352 cases have been registered since the court began proceedings on June 22 until Nov 30.
Of this number, 77.8% or 274 cases have been disposed of, while there are 78 ongoing cases in the court in Putrajaya.
“These cases have not exceeded the timeline of 12 months. This means the court is on track and there are no unreasonable delays,” Latifah said.
While various offences were tried in court, most or 80.3% of them involved carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
However, this percentage has been skewed by the most horrific case dealt by the court so far – the widely reported case of a father who was slapped with 623 counts for sodomising and raping his 15-year-old daughter.
“What happened was almost unthinkable. We hope the existence of the new law and special court will combat such sexual crimes and protect children from these heinous acts,” Latifah said.
Another appalling case involved an eight-year-old who contracted gonorrhoea after she was raped.
“She is still undergoing treatment. The impact is severe, prolonged and real,” lamented Latifah.
Other cases heard by the court involved rape (11.3%), sexual assault like molest (6.9%) and incest (1.5%). Seeing the severity of the crimes, the special court has been determined in handing down deterrent sentences to offenders.
The new Sexual Offences Against Children Act which was enforced on July 10 has come in handy, she said.
“With the new Act, coupled with the Child Act and Criminal Procedure Code, the court is able to mete out a combination of punishments.
“Aside from long-term punishment and the maximum whipping, the court can also hand down community service orders, counselling, compensation orders, police supervision and enable perpetrators to be put under good behaviour bonds,” Latifah said.