A TAXI driver, Damon Assanah, called “Demon,” was, on Thursday, sentenced to 18 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl back in 2015.
Assanah, 33, was, sentenced by Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Sexual Offences Court of the Demerara High Court.
Last month, Assanah was found guilty by a 12-member jury for engaging in sexual penetration with the victim during the month of November, 2015.
However, he was found not guilty on two counts of rape committed to the child during the months of January and October 2015.
The convicted rapist, was represented by Attorney-at-Law Ravindra Mohabir, while the state was represented by prosecutors Nafeeza Baig and Sarah Martin.
Assanah, in his statement to the probation officer which was presented to the court on Thursday, maintained that he is innocent of the charge.
The victim’s impact statement was read in court by a social worker. The victim, in her statement said: “Sometimes I felt like if I can’t trust anyone close to me anymore…This had a really negative impact on my life, it left me feeling really depressed after what this man did to me… He (Assanah) returned to the streets and drag my name through the mud with his friends and family, telling them what he did to me, and all the blame was cast onto me, saying that I wanted it.”
Justice Reynolds while addressing the “barbaric” manner in which the crime was committed told Assanah: “Removing you from society, at least for a while, is the least that a court can do in its attempt at joining forces with the rest of civil society to combat, if not overturn the scourge of rape, incest and other deplorable forms of sexual violence being meted out to women and children in our beloved country.”
The judge in sentencing Assanah to 18 years, told him that he preyed on a young girl and shattered her innocence and bodily integrity.
According to reports, Assanah is known to the victim and her family, and during the month of January 2015, he lured her out of her home and raped her near a “fowl-pen.” Some nine months later, while returning home after being sent on an errand by her mother, Assanah again struck, grabbing the child this time around, and unceremoniously throwing her into his motorcar, and headed for home, where he allegedly raped her again.
Things, however, came to an end on December 7, 2015, when the teen, while at school, began vomiting; this prompted her mother to take her to a city hospital, where blood and urine tests confirmed that she was seven weeks pregnant.
At that point, the teen confided in her mother about what had transpired. The police were called in and Assanah was arrested.