Filipino’s jail term over love bites on girl reduced, but two lashes stay

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KOTA KINABALU: A Filipino who was sentenced to seven years’ jail plus two strokes of the cane for making ‘love bite’ marks on the neck of a 12-year-old girl, had his custodial sentence reduced to 12 months by the High Court here yesterday.

Justice Datuk Nurchaya Arshad allowed the appeal made by Rizman Nasir, 21, against his sentence after hearing submissions from both parties.

However, the judge affirmed Rizman’s sentence of two strokes of the cane.

On April 25, 2019, Rizman was sentenced to seven years in jail and two strokes of the cane after he admitted to committing physical sexual assault against the girl by kissing the girl’s neck and leaving red marks.

The offence took place at a karaoke room in a shopping mall, Penampang at 10am on April 8, 2019.

He committed the offence under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years’ jail and also liable to whipping, upon conviction.

In his appeal, Rizman, who was represented by counsel Michelle Rossana Usman, submitted that the seven years’ jail sentence was excessive on Rizman, who is young and has no previous conviction.

She also emphasized that Rizman had pleaded guilty and that a long custodial sentence would affect his family members since he is the family’s sole breadwinner.

Meanwhile, the prosecution submitted that the Sessions Court judge was correct in giving the punishment, and thus urged the court to affirm the accused’s conviction and sentence.