A resident of Sabangan, Caramoran has been sentenced to suffer 12 to 20 years imprisonment for sexually abusing a teenaged neighbor three times in 2015.
In finding him guilty of three counts of violation of Section 5 (b), Article III of Republic Act 7610, the Regional Trial Court also ordered Winifredo Pamplona Soriano to pay the victim a total of P225,000 as civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages.
The Provincial Prosecution Office had charged the accused, also known as Apple Soriano, with three counts of violation of the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”, for engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim, thereby demeaning, debasing and degrading the intrinsic worth and dignity of the minor as a human being and was prejudicial to the latter’s development.
Information filed before the Court indicated that that the victim only told her mother of the sexual abuses after the third incident was witnessed by her sister.
In her affidavit, AAA said that at about 10 A.M. of Dec. 12, 2015, she was playing at the terrace fronting the house where the accused stayed when he called her to enter the house and asked her to go up the garret (bintaas) and she acceded.
While they were at the garret, he removed her shorts and then his shorts and brief before having sexual intercourse with her.
Fortunately, her sister followed her and peeped at the back of the house, while standing on a “karagumoy” plant. When she saw Soriano on top of AAA, she called for her to come down.
When their mother arrived, the sister told her that AAA had gone to the accused’s garret, causing the mother’s heartbeat to falter.
Her daughter admitted everything and then went with her to the barangay chairman and then to the police station.
She said that she could no longer recall the exact date when the two previous incidents occurred but it was at night while she was playing at the terrace.
At both times, she said, her mother was in Maysuram while their neighbor, Nanay, with whom Apple stayed, was not there.
After the first incident, the accused told her that he will go to the mountain and when he came back, he will give her P20. She claimed she was not able to escape as she was afraid since he threatened her.
The second was essentially the same, as she was not able to fight off his advances because he was strong.
She also admitted that after the first incident, she was not afraid to approach the accused.
In his counter-affidavit, Soriano denied the accusations and claimed he attended a wake on Dec. 11, 2015 and it was already 6:30 A.M. of the following day when he went home to the house of his cousin where he slept.
It was only when he could not sleep because of the noise of children playing that he got up and went to the house of Enrico delos Reyes where he was arrested by the police while watching TV.
In finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt, RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras said that the defense put by the accused is simply denial, which could not overcome AAA’s positive testimony as corroborated by her sister and the doctor who examined the victim.
“While it is true that AAA could no longer recall the exact date of the earlier sexual abuses, this is not fatal, the Court stressed, citing a Supreme Court ruling that neither date nor time of the commission of rape is a material element of the crime.
It also noted that the accused earlier offered to enter into plea bargaining agreement by reducing the penalty and paying the amount of P50,000 but his relatives were no longer interested to help him raise the amount.
Such offer, it said, is tantamount fo a compromise, which may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.