A GEORGE father is facing more than 3 000 charges relating to sex crimes against children – including drugging and raping children as young as 10 – when his trial starts in the Thembalethu Regional Court.
The trial date will be set on Monday.
The grey-haired man, 41, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, kept his head down when he appeared briefly in court yesterday, just less than a year after his arrest at his Denneoord home.
There was no one at court to support the man, who was dressed in a navy blue T-shirt and denim pants.
However, the gallery was packed with activists against child abuse.
“It was really scary sitting in court today and seeing a man standing before us that looks like most children’s fathers, and to realise the horrific crimes he is accused of – 3 133 charges. It is frightening,” Plett Green Hearts spokeswoman Yvette Wilschut said. “This also made us realise how we need to do more in this country to protect our children – as parents, as the justice system and education role-players.”
The man was arrested by the George family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit on November 27 after abuse claims surfaced.
Police said the incidents allegedly happened between 2012 and last year, during sleepovers at his house, and involved his 12-year-old daughter’s friends. During their visits to the house, the man allegedly fed the girls pills, which caused them to lose consciousness.
The man then allegedly took naked photographs of the children, raped and sexually assaulted them.
The alleged victims are seven children between the ages of 10 and 12.
Although police reports initially suggested his daughter may have been one of the victims, it came to light in court later that she was not among the alleged victims.
The man’s laptop, desktop computer, camera and cellphone were seized during a search of his home on October 29 last year.
The charge sheet revealed yesterday that the man is facing 3 133 charges, ranging from rape and sexual molestation to the creation and possession of child pornography.
The matter was postponed to Monday for a trial date to be arranged.
The accused, who did not apply for bail after his arrest, will stay in custody until his next court appearance.