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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Court of Appeal Issues 10- to 20-Year Prison Sentences for Tifelt Child Rapists

The Rabat Court of Appeal sentenced, on Thursday evening, the three defendants accused of having raped 11-year-old Sana in the outskirts of the city of Tiflet to prison terms ranging from 20 to 10 years.

The court sentenced first defendant (A.D.) to 20 years in prison. The other two defendants (Y.Z.) and (K.A.) were each sentenced to 10 years in prison, ordering the first defendant to pay compensation of 60,000 dirhams to the civil party and the two other defendants to pay 40,000 dirhams.

The court heard in camera the child victim who confirmed that she was raped by the three criminals. The court also heard the witness who came to court with a social worker as part of the accompaniment and support procedures.

The court also heard the three defendants, who denied all the charges against them. In his plea, the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office considered that “the first verdict in this case was correct in convicting the defendants.”

“However, we disagree with the Criminal Chamber of the First Instance in its assessment of the sentence and its decision to take into account the mitigating circumstances of the defendants,” he continued.

The representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office therefore requested “maintaining the preliminary judgment in terms of conviction and imposing the most severe sentence against the defendants.”

The defense of the victim, on the other hand, requested that the sentence against the defendants in the first instance be increased to its maximum and that a monthly allowance be granted as alimony for the benefit of the newborn child until he reaches the age of majority.

The defendants’ defense, on the other hand, pleaded for their eligibility to be granted the benefit of mitigating circumstances.

Last March, the Criminal Chamber of First Instance found the defendants guilty of “kidnapping a minor” and “indecent assault on a minor with violence leading to defilement,” but sentenced the first defendant to an imprisonment of only two years, and the others to 18 months.

This verdict sparked the outrage of human rights and civil society activists concerned with women’s and children’s rights, who considered the said verdict “unjust and undermines the rights of children and women” and called for harsher sanctions against the perpetrators of these crimes.

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