Twelve life sentences for South African sex offender

The Johannesburg High Court has imposed 12 life sentences on Gerhard Ackerman, a serial offender who was found guilty of committing multiple sex crimes against children in South Africa.

Judge Mohamed Ismail of the Johannesburg, however, ruled that the 12 life sentences would run concurrently.

In April, the court found Ackerman guilty of attempted murder and several sexual offences against minors, who were mainly young boys.

Some of the sexual offences the court found Ackerman guilty of included rape, human trafficking, sexual grooming of minors and production, possession and distribution of child pornography.

Ackerman is still on trial for a separate child sexual abuse case, which he is accused of having committed at a Johannesburg country club in 2018.

Ackerman’s suspected accomplice, Paul Kennedy, who worked as an advocate and acting judge, died by suicide in February 2022, before the trial began.

Kennedy was accused of aiding Ackerman in operating the child sex abuse ring and transmitting HIV to some of the victims Ackerman sent him.

Following the sentence, Ackerman fired his lawyer. He also told journalists that he was innocent on most, if not all of the charges and would file for a retrial of the case.

Source: BBC