Colombo High Court Judge Adithya Patabendige yesterday (21) sentenced to 45 years Rigorous Imprisonment an accused who had been charged with raping a 17-year-old girl, who had gone to work as a domestic aid at a house in Rajagiriya.
The court was told the victim decided to work as a domestic aid after having abruptly stopped her schooling, due to her father being ill and the death of her mother.
The Judge also ordered the convict, identified as Himasha Praminda Ganegoda, to pay compensation in Rs 500,000 to the victim and a fine of Rs 75,000 to the Court.
Court also warned the convict that failure to pay the fine would result in a further period of two years being added to his sentence.
Judge Patabendige also issued an open warrant for the arrest of the convict, as he had changed his residential address and continues to avoid Court. He also instructed the Court Registrar, to convey the same, to the Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
Elaborating further on his verdict, the Judge stated that from the victim’s testimony and that of the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) during the trial, it had come to light that the convict had raped the victim aged 17 at that time, on three separate occasions, from 15 April to 2 June, 20 years ago.
He explained in his verdict, that the convict, had even threatened the victim, that if she were to reveal her ordeal to anyone, she would be abducted by his friends in the Army and that the convict had even provided the victim with tablets to prevent her from conceiving.
Judge Patabendige also added, that as the wife of the convict’s younger brother, had been employed at an establishment which provided advice on legal matters, he had threatened the victim, that if she were to lodge a complaint against him, he would be able to overcome it.
He pointed out, that the crime committed by the convict, to a girl of school-going age, had been grave and serious and noted that, it cannot be condoned and stressed that the severest possible punishment, was being meted out.
State Counsel Chathura Bandara, representing the Attorney General, urged the Court to hand down the severest possible punishment to the accused, so as to deter others, from following suit.
Attorney-at-Law Thanuj Sandaruwan appearing for the accused, mentioned that he would not be producing any submissions to Court, aimed at reducing the penalty, to be imposed on his client.