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Businessman cleared of rape because the minor's body is big

A Beitbridge magistrate's court has cleared a local businessman of any wrong¬doing after he admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but had been misled by her big body.

Justice Gwatidzo, 28, told the court that the girl's behaviour also led him to think she was an adult.

She visited him at any time of the day or night, he said. He also told the court that the girl who was in Grade Six when they first met. drank beer like an adult.

Gwatidzo whose case was reported last year had not been taken to court until the Police was pressured by activists.

He swore he believed the girl was 16, although he saw her going to a primary school nearby.

"I never asked her age. It slipped my mind," said Gwatidzo.
Businessman cleared of rape because the minor's body is big
Departing from his warned and cautioned statement made to Police Gwatidzo said the girl suggested that they go and have fun at Lutumba on New Year's eve last year.

In his warned and cautioned statement Gwatidzo, who runs a furniture shop in Beitbridge. said he invited the girl to Lutumba and she agreed.

She refused to sleep with him at a lodge because she was on her monthly period but he had slept with her in the car earlier that night.

He said after realising the girl was a minor he paid the mother $500.

However the girl's mother denied having got any money from Gwatidzo.

Called to give evidence, the mother said she reported the matter to the Police after she discovered her child had been raped.

She said her daughter appeared big but at the time of the alleged offence the child was in Grade Six.

Magistrate Innocent Bepura citing a number of cases cleared Gwatidzo of any wrong doing.

Llyod Mupfungidza prosecuted.
Source: Masvingo Mirror
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