‘Disappointing’: Parents drop charge against suspected Sandton paedophile
Only one charge of sexual assault remains after parents of second child opt not to continue with criminal case
Charges in one case against a suspected child molester targeting children in Morningside, Sandton, have been dropped, with the 49-year-old man now only facing a single count of sexual assault.
The man, who may not be identified until he pleads, was initially charged with two separate incidents in Morningside where he allegedly exposed himself to a child and sexually assaulted another.
At the time of his arrest, police raided his “tantric” massage parlour in Sandton, just a few blocks from the police station. Its website, which has since been taken down, advertised the services of “men younger than 22” available to service older clients.
The man’s modus operandi initially led police to suspect he could be linked to both cases. He would allegedly pretend his arm was broken to lure the children into helping him take off his pants in a bathroom before either exposing himself or assaulting them.
He appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where it was revealed he is no longer facing charges of indecent exposure to a minor, only a single charge of sexual assault.
Times Select has learnt the parents of the second child opted not to continue with the criminal case they had opened.
Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA), which has been monitoring the case, said it was deeply disappointed with the collapse of the second case.
Spokesperson Ngaa Murombedzi said she was saddened to learn that the parents of the second child had decided not to go ahead with the case.
“It’s very disappointing, what happened to this child can’t be nullified. This man now only faces a single charge. It won’t weaken that part of the case, but fewer charges could detract from the harsh sentence we wish to see,” she said.
The National Prosecuting Authority is yet to respond.
The parents of the child whose case is still being prosecuted said their 11-year-old was approached in August in a bathroom at the Morningside Country Club during a school hockey match.
A man, wearing a sling on his arm, allegedly asked for help with taking down his pants, forcing the child to help him and then to touch his genitals.
While the child was able to escape, he only told his parents what happened after the match had ended. The parents immediately opened a case with the Sandton SAPS, and even hired a private investigator to help track down the alleged perpetrator.
The investigator, Howard Blumenfeld, confirmed he had assisted the police in the raid at the man’s tantric massage parlour.
In October, the parlour’s website said the establishment only hired masseurs under the age of 22.
“To explore a whole other world of not only massage therapy but also of pleasure,” it promised. “We will always ensure that your appointments are safeguarded and your anonymity is 100% completely guaranteed.”
The man will return to court in February, and remains on bail of R5,000.
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