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A Malindi imam is still guilty of sodomizing his stepson, High Court judge Reuben Nyakundi has said, but reduced his life sentence to 25 years.

Nyakundi said Omar Said Omar has left the victim, 12, with a permanent scar, and betrayed the trust and love the child had for him.

Malindi Senior Principal Magistrate Sylvia Wewa in November 2018, handed Omar, a life sentence. She found Omar guilty of the March 2016 crime, which occurred at Maweni, Malindi.

But Omar appealed for acquittal, which he failed to get after Nyakundi said he was heartless.

“How heartless can a family member, a father, be to go after his own child for sexual gratification?” the judge said February 5, 2020, when he delivered his judgement.

Nyakundi said he reduced Omar’s sentence because he had strong mitigation – he is young, (36-years-old), remorseful, knowledgeable in Islamic skills and law, trains in Madrassa, and can take a position of responsibility.

The judge said there was no real atonement.

He said term imprisonment is enough to punish the crime and send a strong message that society considers sodomy an abomination.

“That term will be the one to place this case within one of the serious offences where the punishment must be proportionate to the crime,” Nyakundi said.

“In my considered view, and taking all factors to account, I hereby sentence the convict to an imprisonment of 25 years, to be served from November 15, 2018.”

MUHURI rescued the minor after the assault and represented him in court. The mother of the victim celebrated Nyakundi’s verdict, a week after she had asked the court to lock Omar behind bars for good.

[VIDEO] Sodomy: ‘My husband should rot in jail, he ruined my son’s life’

Nyakundi said the case had aggravating factors, which included the victim’s tender age and the relationship he had with the perpetrator.

The minor was age nine when Omar, whom he considered his father, sodomized him.

“The victim looked upon Omar for trust, provision, and safekeeping of his welfare. For him, the accused was the last person he expected will destroy his dignity and security,” Nyakudi said.

Although Omar committed the crime over two years ago, Nyakundi said, the child has a phobia.

“Whenever he sees men, he runs away because of the trauma. The photogenic picture is still fresh despite the passage of time,” the judge said.

Nyakundi said the victim has not healed.

“For him, every person in the image of the convict is a person after his sexuality. The context of this sexual act happening within the family cycle places this case on his unique level,” the judge said.

The punishment is a positive mark in the war against sexual gender-based violence.

The court gave Omar 14 days to appeal.

Imam facing life imprisonment to know fate in stepson sodomy appeal