Advocate facing child porn charge gets bail conditions relaxed

03 December 2021 - 15:08
The accused were arrested after a child went to police to report his alleged ordeal. Stock photo.
The accused were arrested after a child went to police to report his alleged ordeal. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/tinnakornlek

The state has objected to the relaxation of bail conditions for the co-accused of a prominent advocate charged with unlawful possession of child pornography.

The two accused are facing charges which include unlawful possession of child pornography, human trafficking, sexual assault, exploitation and rape for incidents that allegedly took place between September 2020 and July 2021.

The men, who appeared in the Johannesburg high court on Friday, cannot by law be named as they have not yet pleaded to the charges.

As part of his bail conditions, the co-accused was barred from having access to electronic devices. He asked for this condition to be relaxed so he could use a laptop because he had  secured employment and would need one to perform his duties.

State prosecutor advocate Valencia Dube told the court the state would have a problem with the request because several of the offences allegedly committed by the man stemmed from cyber usage.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng ruled the co-accused would need to bring an application for the formal amendment.

Meanwhile, the accused advocate was successful in having his bail condition of reporting twice a week at his local police station relaxed. He asked for this to be reduced to once a week and the state had no objections, considering his record of attendance.

A provisional date for the pretrial hearing was set for January 28. 

The state alleges the advocate’s co-accused had a cellphone containing images of child pornography in his possession. The phone also allegedly 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.

They are accused of human trafficking after they allegedly paid for a 15-year-old boy to travel to Johannesburg to earn money by performing sexual acts.

The advocate’s co-accused is alleged to have used the internet to facilitate human trafficking and to 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 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 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 child went to police to report his alleged ordeal.

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