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SANDAKAN: A 52-year-old school bus driver was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and fined RM10,000, in default 10 months jail, by the Sessions Court here today for outraging the modesty of a special needs student.

Judge Awang Kerisnada Awang Mahmud meted out the sentence, effective from today, on Roslan Baki after being found guilty of committing the offence between January last year and March this year.

He was initially accused of raping the speech and hearing-impaired girl, who was 14 years old at the time of the crime in 2016, in a school bus in front of a secondary school here.

The initial charge under Section 376 (2) (d) of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to 20 years and also liable to whipping if convicted.

However, the charge was amended to Section 354 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years or with a fine or with whipping or with any two of such punishments upon conviction.

In his ruling, Awang Kerisnada said that not only did the accused waste the court’s time and public expense by pleading not guilty but also took advantage of the victim, who was a special needs person.

“The accused was entrusted by the family of the victim to take her to school and back home by the bus operated by the accused. The accused abused this position of trust,” he said.

Awang Kerisnada also granted a stay of execution on the accused pending an appeal as requested by the accused’s counsels.

However, the judge ordered that the stay of execution applied only to the jail sentence and that the accused must pay the RM10,000 fine or serve 10-month imprisonment.

The prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Kenneth Netto, while the accused was represented by lawyers Sharatha Lincon, Mohamed Zairi and Douglas Lim.

— BERNAMA



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