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Thursday, August 30, 2012

'What if it's your daughter?'



Devastation would seem an understatement to describe the feelings of the father of a 13-year-old schoolgirl whose rapist was freed by the Sessions Court here on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old odd-job worker was an emotional wreck when met at his home in Ayer Itam here, and could not stop wondering why the person who destroyed his daughter’s innocence and future roams free.
“He deserves a punishment heavier than a good behaviour surety bond,” the single father of four said.
He was convinced that the sentence passed on Chuah Guan Jiu was not deterrent enough to teach him a lesson.
“If this is the case, he may have no qualms committing a similar offence again,” he said.
“How would you feel if this happened to your daughter? Was the judge swayed by the former national bowler’s verdict? This is unfair. I want him behind bars.”
He said his youngest daughter had since been transferred to another school.
The court had bound Chuah over for three years on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond.
Deputy public prosecutor Lim Cheah Yit said he would be appealing against the decision soon.
Asked about this, the girl’s father said: “I want this case to go further so my daughter would receive justice.
“I have also met with officers in the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) for advice.”
Photographs with rapist posted online
Chuah was found guilty of raping the girl between 7am and 1pm on July 18, last year, and between 2.25pm and 2.45pm the next day. The victim was only 12 years and 10 months when he raped her at his Air Itam flats.
During sentencing, Sessions judge Sitarun Nisa Abdul Aziz had said the court considered the defence’s argument that Chuah was young, a dropout and that there was consensual sex.
The victim’s grandmother, however, felt that she had endured enough.
She was now hoping that the family would let the matter rest and allow the girl to move on.
“My granddaughter was crying the whole day and couldn’t eat. I fear for her health. I wish this did not happen at all,” she said, adding that the victim’s photographs with Chuah had been put up on a social media network.
The outcome of the case has triggered the same outrage as when former national squad bowler Nor Afizal Azizan was bound over for five years on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond after being found guilty of statutory rape on Aug 8.
The Malay Mail

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