Muslim Scholar Nezaam Ali, 33, was today sentenced to 45 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of raping a nine-year-old boy in 2011.
The ruling was handed down by Justice Navindra Singh. Ali is currently before the court on nine counts of rape.
In this count, the charge against Ali alleged that between December 5, 2011 and December 31, 2011 he enraged in sexual penetration with a child under the age of 17, by abusing his position of trust while being at Iman at the Turkeyen Masjid.
During the hearing, Ali pleaded with the jury for mercy as he further denied committing the offence by stating that he has an erectile dysfunction and as such could not have raped the boy.
His Attorney, Stanley Moore, in a plea of mitigation, further pleaded for mercy revealing to the court that according to evidence, the child involved in the rape allegation did not suffer any psycho-social trauma.
However, the prosecution team, Tuana Hardy, Teriq Mohamed and Abigail Gibbs had strong objections to Moore’s plea and reiterated that Ali betrayed the trust of the victim.
Taking note of this objections, Justice Singh told Ali that he took advantage of the underprivileged child and handed down the 45 years sentence.
Ali is yet to answer to eight other counts of rape at the High Court which are expected to come up next month during the new session of the Demerara Assizes.
Ali, of Lot 268 Section C 5 South Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, was first charged back in 2012 with raping the nine boys.
However, after being committed to stand trial in 2013, the matter was stalled for some time after birth certificates and medicals for the boys had gone missing from each of the nine files.
The parents and relatives of some of the alleged victims had publicly expressed their frustration at the situation in the past. One parent had even claimed that there has been a deliberate attempt to drag the matter out.
In 2017, however, there was a turn of events when the DPP’s Chambers in a letter had ordered that the case be reopened. He was later re-committed to stand trial at the Demerara Assizes in 2018.