JSC outlines penalties

Latwell Nyangu

THE Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has released a set of crimes with outlined offences, aggravating factors and penalties. 

These crimes include sexual offences, attempted murder, infanticide, and unlawful termination of pregnancy and indecent assault, among others. 

The JSC has instituted a presumption penalty of 12 months’ imprisonment for offences of unlawful termination of pregnancy and indecent assault. Additionally, it has laid out aggravating factors in some cases such as use of weapons, violence, premeditation, and position of authority or influence over the victim.

“The aggravating factors include a mature woman and procured termination of pregnancy of another. Where procuring the termination of the pregnancy of another led to subjecting the other to cruel or inhuman treatment.”

On indecent assault, the JSC said the accused gets 12 months under the following factors:

“If there are multiple victims, evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct and recording of the offence, distribution of the recording of the offence.

“If the offence is motivated by any one or more of the prohibition grounds of discrimination listed in section 56 (3) of the Constitution.

“Use of a weapon, offender forced entry into the victim’s home, office or private space.

“Violence, or threats of violence to subdue victim and offender in position of authority or influence over victim.

“Multiple and prolonged acts and offences committed in the presence of others, especially children.”

Having sex with a young person carries a presumption penalty of three years, and age disparity between the offender and the victim as well as whether the offence resulted in pregnancy or STI and whether the offender is in position of trust or authority over the young person will be considered.

Attempted murder’s presumption penalty constitutes five years, while infanticide will be 24 months.

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