Cape Town - A 19-year-old man has been charged with raping a mentally handicapped woman who has the mental capacity of a child between the ages of seven and 10.
Marco Geel of Wellington made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on allegations that he raped a 22-year-old mentally ill woman. According to the prosecution, the charges were regarded as very serious based on the woman’s mental capability at the time of the rape.
Geel had allegedly raped the woman four times last year while visiting a welfare organisation where someone close to him had worked.
The woman’s identity and that of the organisation is being withheld to protect the victim. She had been in the care of the Cape Town welfare organisation for the past five years.
Geel has not yet pleaded to the charges and had not disclosed the basis of his defence.
He was arrested after he handed himself over to police on August 10 and was held in custody while his bail application went ahead.
It is the State’s case that a witness visited the woman and noticed that she was bleeding. On being questioned, the woman implicated Geel as the man who had allegedly raped her.
The prosecution opposed his release but Geel’s defence argued that he had a fixed address, fixed job and was not a flight risk.
After a lengthy bail application, magistrate Zwelindumile Sogwagwa freed Geel on a warning.
The case was postponed so that the docket could be traced.
On Tuesday, Geel’s lawyer, Joe Weeber, told the court he had helped locate it. He and prosecutor Godsave Tyhokolo agreed the case could be postponed to December 7 for further investigation.
Sogwagwa granted a final postponement, saying that if the State’s investigation was not complete by his next appearance, he would strike the matter from the court roll.