Ashaari Ibrahim, 75, who teaches al-Quran at his home, was charged with 10 counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault against two sisters between 2014 and 2021 at two separate Sessions Court on Thursday (29 June).
He was first taken before Sessions Court judge Noor Aini Yusof where he was charged with three counts each of rape and sexual assault against the younger girl at a house located in a village in Jalan Baru in Prai in 2018 when she was only 7-years-old.
He was accused of committing the sexual crimes between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2020.
Ashaari was unrepresented and told the court that he was unsure whether there was anyone to post bail for him after bail wasn’t offered by Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Syeqal Che Murat.
Judge Noor Aini subsequently denied his bail and set July 29 for mention of the case pending submissions of documents.
After the proceeding, Ashaari was later brought to another Sessions Court judge Norhayati Mohamad Yunus and was charged with 7 counts of rape and 4 counts of physical sexual assault against the older girl.
He was accused of committing sexual crimes against the older sister over a period of 8 years when the victim was 5 years old.
The incidents allegedly happened between January 1 in 2014 and early March in 2021.
The charges were under Section 376 (1) (e) of the Penal Code for rape which carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years and whipping if convicted, and Section 14 (d) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 which carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.
Similarly, Deputy Public Prosecutor Aisyah Al-Humayrah Kamarul Zaman did not offer bail for these charges.
She told the court that there could be more victims out there who are at risk should Ashaari be granted bail.
“There are at least 10 more children who are victims of the accused so if he is granted bail, he may approach the victims and they might refuse to come forward with their statements.”
“All of them are unrelated to him but lived in the same village,” she said.