Justice Rahman Oshodi of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Friday, June 7, sentenced a man, Lawal Moshod, to 14 years imprisonment for the sexual assault of a 78-year-old woman (names withheld), now deceased, The Nation reports.

The judge convicted the defendant of a one-count amended charge brought against him by the state for the rape of the woman.

The defendant had earlier pleaded not guilty when arraigned on May 13, by the prosecution, Mr B. E. Okeowo.

The defendant was re-arraigned on May 30, 2024, on an amended one-count charge bordering an attempt to commit sexual assault by penetration contrary to section 262 of the criminal law of Lagos State.

The amended information was read to the defendant on May 31, 2024, to which he pleaded guilty.

The judge asked the defendant whether he understood the content of his guilty plea and the obligation of the court to give out the maximum sentence on the charges.

Lawal admitted he made the plea bargain voluntarily and was satisfied by the advice of his counsel.

Earlier, during resumed proceedings yesterday, the prosecuting counsel told the court that she called two witnesses, two IPOs and exhibits were tendered to prove his case.

Okeowo urged the court to sentence the defendant according to the plea bargain agreement dated May 30, 2024.

Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Oshodi said that the defendant was charged on a lone count of rape through information dated August 26, 2019, which was filed on September 9, 2019, and he pleaded not guilty to it on May 13, 2022.

“The defendant met the survivor a 78-year-old woman, now deceased, in Maryland, on January 2, 2019, she had dementia and could not find her way.”

“The defendant offered to assist her as it turned out it was a deliberate act to abuse her sexually.”

“The defendant took the 78 years old survivor to a secluded area and raped her. Some Good Samaritans heard her cry and mobilize to rescue her”

She was taken to the police station and it was confirmed that the survivor was bleeding through her private part and bruises on her face.

“She was later taken to Mirabel Medical Center for examination. The medical examination result was received as exhibit F in evidence which documents physical trauma and forceful penetration of the survivor’s virginal.”

The prosecution counsel B. E Okeowo informed the court that both parties have entered a plea and sentence agreement dated May 30, 2024.

Oshodi asked the defendant if he had anything to say to the court,

“Forgive me,” Moshod said.

The defendant’s counsel Oyebanji Yusuf pleaded to the court to tamper justice with mercy.

“He is remorseful towards what he has done, I plead to this honourable court to tamper justice with mercy. He committed a very grievous offence considering the age of the victim”

The prosecution counsel Okewo urge the court to sentence the defendant according to the plea bargain.

“My lord we urge this honourable court to sentence the defendant according to the plea bargain. The plea bargain agreement does not reduce the gravity of the offence committed by the defendant.”

“The victim was 78 years old, she only sought help from the defendant he took advantage of it and raped her which caused the victim a lot and led her to her death”

She further added that this will send a powerful message and signal to society.

“My Lord this will send a powerful message message and signal to the society that sexual abuse will not be tolerated in the society.”

“We also asked that his name should be registered in the sexual offenders register”

Oshodi sentenced the convict to 14 years imprisonment on the one-count charge after considering the plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and defence counsel.

The judge said the 14 years imprisonment would commence on January 2, 2019, the day he was remanded.

Oshodi stated that though the victim is dead already one can imagine the pains of a 78-year-old woman suffering from dementia.

“One can imagine the pains, suffering and anguish you inflicted on her, her family will live with that painful reality”

The judge ordered the convict to be returned to the Kirikiri Medium Custodial Center and for his name to be included in the Lagos State Sexual Offenders Register.

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