Prominent advocate and co-accused 'used social media to lure boys, sexually groom, assault and rape them'

12 August 2021 - 09:20 By nomahlubi sonjica
A prominent advocate and his co-accused face charges of sexual assault, grooming and rape. Stock photo.
A prominent advocate and his co-accused face charges of sexual assault, grooming and rape. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ARTIT OUBKAEW

Sordid details of how a prominent advocate and his co-accused allegedly used social media to lure boys into human trafficking, sexual exploitation, grooming, assault and rape have been revealed in an indictment before the high court.

The pair, aged 63 and 52, face a slew of charges including unlawful possession of child pornography, human trafficking, sexual assault and exploitation and rape for incidents that allegedly took place between September 2020 and July 2021.

The men cannot be named as they have not yet pleaded to the charges.

They appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Tuesday, where the case was transferred to the South Gauteng High Court. The advocate was granted R20,000 bail and his co-accused R6,000 bail.

The state alleges that the advocate’s co-accused had a cellphone containing images of child pornography in his possession. The phone also contained photos of teenage boys posing naked. He is also accused of creating or assisting to create child pornography.

The advocate was allegedly found in possession of images of child pornography on a cellphone. The images were of known and unknown minor children. Other images and videos were stored on a computer.

The pair is accused of human trafficking in that they allegedly paid for a 15-year-old boy to travel to Johannesburg to earn money through performing sexual acts.

“Accused [one] intentionally benefited financially or otherwise from the services of a victim of trafficking [a 15-year-old boy] ... by arranging adults to sexually exploit him and taking a certain percentage of what they paid the child for sexual activities,” the indictment reads.

The advocate’s co-accused is alleged to have used the internet to facilitate human trafficking and instruct or encourage the advocate to sexually exploit a 15-year-old.

They allegedly conspired to commit the offences.

According to the indictment, the co-accused forced himself on a 16-year-old. He faces another count of rape of a 15-year-old.

The advocate allegedly compelled boys to have sexual intercourse while he watched.

According to the indictment, the pair targeted the minors on social media platforms, including Facebook.

“They would request images and videos from minor children and sometimes pay them for such images.

“The accused made travel arrangements in order for these children to come to Johannesburg, where they would be accommodated by accused two [the advocate]. Both accused engaged in sexual acts with the children,” the indictment reads.

The co-accused, the indictment states, would arrange clients who the children would “service” for a fee.

The accused were arrested after one of the children went to the police to report the “ordeal” he had suffered.

The case is due back in court on October 8.

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