PUTRAJAYA: Former Sabah anti-vice police chief has been sentenced to 40 years' jail and 15 strokes of the whip for raping and sodomising a 13-year-old girl in 2012 in what was described as a "crime of temptation".
Deputy Superintendent Rohaizat Abd Ani, 58, lost his final appeal at the Court of Appeal on Friday (Mar 24) to set aside his rape and sodomy convictions meted out on him by the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
His jail term was, however, slashed by half from 80 years to 40 years after the court's three-man panel of judges ordered him to serve his jail sentences for three rape charges, concurrently instead of consecutively.
His counsel Geethan Ram Vincent said, taking into account the one-third remission of jail term for good behaviour, Rohaizat would be behind bars for 27 years until the age of 85.
Rohaizat, who wore a black jacket, appeared to be composed when the decision was delivered by the court. A court interpreter was seen relating the court's verdict to him. He was then taken to the lock-up in the court building after the verdict was handed down.
Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh who presided with Justices Ahmadi Asnawi and Kamardin Hashim issued a warrant of committal against Rohaizat to commit him to prison since he was being released on bail pending disposal of his appeal on Friday.
Rohaizat was convicted by the Sessions Court of four counts of raping the girl and one count of sodomy which he allegedly committed at Tang Dynasty Hotel, Kota Kinabalu between Feb 1, 2012 and May 6, 2012. He lost his appeal at the High Court, prompting him to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The Sessions Court had sentenced him to 20 years' jail each and three strokes of the cane each for the first and second charge of raping and sodomising the minor, the jail terms to run concurrently, and another 20 years each and three whippings each for the other three rape charges, to run consecutively.
Justice Mohd Zawawi dismissed Rohaizat's appeal on his convictions but allowed his appeal for a reduction of his jail term by requiring him to serve the 20 years' jail sentences for three rape charges concurrently instead of consecutively.
Rohaizat was ordered to begin his 20 years' jail term for the three rape charges after the completion of his jail term for the first two charges.
Justice Mohd Zawawi said there was sufficient evidence to support Rohaizat's convictions.
At one point in the proceeding, Justice Zawawi described the case as "crime of temptation" when deputy public prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah told the court that Rohaizat was formerly a law enforcement officer.
Hamdan argued that the victim was a credible witness and there was no reason for her to implicate Rohaizat, adding that she delayed in lodging the police report because she was afraid they would not believe her story.
Geethan Ram earlier submitted that the girl implicated Rohaizat because she was angry with her mother, whom Rohaizat was giving financial support. He said there were contradictions in the girl's evidence whom he described as a brilliant person who claimed that she was forced by her mother to have sexual intercourse to settle her mother's debts, but her mother gave a different version.
Rohaizat, in his defence at the Sessions Court, denied raping or sodomising the girl but admitted to having sex with two women, including the mother of the victim.