20 November 2017 Read: 1207
A Phalaborwa resident, Martin Henriques (51), who was arrested shortly after his birthday in July this year, appeared in the Phalaborwa Magistrate’s court on Wednesday, 15th of November.
Henriques is facing charges of rape, sexual assault and child molestation. His arrest in July came after charges were laid against him at the Phalaborwa police station.
He was denied bail after his first appearance in court shortly after his arrest and was remanded in custody at the Thoyandou correctional facility. He appeared in court again on the 2nd of August and was granted bail of R3 000 on the 15th of September by the High Court in Polokwane. On Wednesday, his case was again postponed to the 17th of January 2018 pending further investigations.
Bulletin spoke to provincial SAPS spokesperson Lt ol oatshe Ngoepe who confirmed that the case had been postponed
Allegations are that Henriques groomed and sexually assaulted young boys from the town, aged between 13 and 15 years old. It is also alleged that he was well-known to the boys and their parents. A confidential source revealed that one of the boys would regularly visit Henriques where it is alleged Henriques showed the boy pornography on a cellphone and touched him inappropriately. It was allegedly that only after one of the boy’s friends had a similar experience at Henriques’ home, that he told the boy’s parents, who in turn alerted authorities. Subsequent investigations allegedly revealed that Henriques, a father of two daughters, faced similar charges in 2013.
Investigations are continuing and the matter is currently sub judice which means that no further information related to the findings of the investigation may be publically stated. The identity of the boys may not be released as they are minors. The whereabouts of Martin Henriques remains unconfirmed at this stage. Bulletin will be present at his next court appearance and we will publish a follow up on the proceedings.