SEBERANG PERAI, June 29 — Ashaari Ibrahim, who teaches al-Quran at his home, was today charged with 10 counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault against two sisters between 2014 and 2021 at two separate Sessions Court here.
The 74-year-old man claimed trial to all the charges.
Ashaari was first taken before Sessions Court judges Noor Aini Yusof where he was slapped with three counts each of rape and sexual assault against the younger girl at a house in a village in Jalan Baru in Prai in 2018 when she was seven years old.
He was accused of committing the sexual crimes between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Syeqal Che Murat did not offer any bail for all the charges.
Ashaari was unrepresented and told the court that he was not sure if there was anyone to bail him out.
Noor Aini denied bail and set July 29 for mention of the case pending submissions of documents.
Next, Ashaari was taken before another Sessions Court judge Norhayati Mohamad Yunus where seven counts of rape and four counts of physical sexual assault against the older girl were pressed against him.
He was accused of committing the sexual crimes against the older sister over a period of eight years, starting from when she was only five years old.
The incidents allegedly happened between January 1 in 2014 and early March in 2021.
The charges were framed under Section 376 (1) (e) of the Penal Code for rape which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction, and Section 14 (d) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 for sexual assault which carries a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Aisyah Al-Humayrah Kamarul Zaman also did not offer bail for these charges.
"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,” she told the court.
She added that the victims are unrelated to the suspect but they lived in the same village.
Ashaari asked the court to grant him bail as his wife was unwell and he needed to take care of her.
Norhayati rejected his bail request on grounds that he could approach his alleged accusers.
She set July 29 for mention of the case pending medical report.