MASVINGO – Regional Magistrate, Dambudzo Malunga has sentenced prominent Masvingo businessman Aubrey Cummings to 15 years in jail after finding him guilty of raping a 16-year-old school pupil who is a granddaughter to him on three different occasions.
The complainant was only 11 years and doing grade six when she was first raped in 2012.
There was drama in Court 6 at Masvingo Magistrates Court on Tuesday when the conviction was read out and Cummings' wife Yasmin and his children and relatives stormed the dock to console the businessman who the magistrate had ordered to go to the cell and wait for sentence at 11am.
Cummings who runs an auto mechanic shop and is a prominent golfer could not hold back his anger at the complainant as he shouted out that he was going to deal with her when he comes out of prison.
Cummings stood still as the sentence was being read, shook his head, looked at the ground and then straight at the complainant. He surrendered his purse to his wife when he was whisked away by the prison guards.
His wife shouted at the complainant and called her a liar. Frank Chirairo of Saratoga and Makausi Law Chambers had to plead with his client and relatives to cool down and respect the courts.
In giving the ruling, Malunga said there was evidence that the crime was committed because Cummings family held meetings that were aimed at paying off the complainant.
He said if there was no crime, the alleged demands for money by the complainant amounted to extortion and Cummings should have reported to the Police.
It was the State case that Cummings used to stay with the complainant as a guardian whom he provided with both her school fees and other basic needs. On the first occasion in 2012, Cummings sneaked into the bedroom where the girl was sleeping and raped her. The incident happened at around 3am at Cummings' Rhodhene residence.
After sneaking into the room, Cummings held the girl's mouth so that she could not scream, pulled up her night dress, removed her pant and raped her once. The girl told a maid at the house about the rape after the former had asked her why she was crying.
In May 2014, the accused again sneaked into the girl's bedroom and raped her once. The accused said she didn't tell anyone about the rape because Cummings threatened her.
On May 3, 2016 Cummings met the girl in town and drove out along Masvingo –Zvisahavane Road where he turned into a dust road after about 9km.
He parked the car in a bush area, left his seat and went to the back seat where the complainant was seated and raped her once.
The girl said she screamed along the way but no one heard her.crime news