Convicted rapist and child sex offender Gerhard Ackerman will be sentenced on Tuesday at the Johannesburg High Court.
In his last appearance, judge Mahomed Ambivalent found Ackerman guilty of more than 700 charges including rape, attempted kidnapping, sexual exploitation, sexual grooming, and possession of child pornography.
During trial, advocate Valencia Dube led the evidence of more than a dozen witnesses and also presented evidence contained in WhatsApp conversations, as well as forensic reports on child pornography found on Ackerman’s cellphone and laptop.
“The accused’s evidence was so poor and contradictory, it should be rejected. It is clear he made a living off the sexual exploitation of children,” said Mahomed.
Gerhard Ackerman’s co-accused and main client Paul Kennedy died by suicide while out on bail in 2022.
Mohamed said Gerhard Ackerman unlawfully encouraged boys to perform sexual acts on Kennedy knowing that he was HIV-positive.
“That he [Kennedy] took his own life is not surprising. He realised the game was up and committed suicide,” said Mohamed.
The 52-year-old Gerhard Ackerman previously told the court that he operated a massage parlour where the treatments would end with sexual acts, which he called “happy endings”.
During trial, the court heard that Gerhard Ackerman allegedly abused boys aged between 14 and 16, groomed them, and benefited financially from facilitating their services with clients.
He pleaded not guilty to rape, human trafficking, distribution of child pornography, and sexual assault.