Advocate Paul Kennedy.
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- A trial date has been set for a 53-year-old man, believed to be the main perpetrator in a child sex ring case.
- He has been accused of more than 730 charges.
- Advocate Paul Kennedy was a co-accused in the matter, but charges were withdrawn after he died.
A trial date has been set for the main perpetrator in an alleged child sex ring case, which involves more than 730 criminal charges, including rape, sexual grooming and trafficking.
The accused, 53, who was initially arrested and charged alongside senior advocate and acting judge, Paul Kennedy, appeared in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.
Kennedy has since died by suicide and the charges against him were withdrawn as a result.
The court heard that other cases against the accused, who cannot be named until he has pleaded to the charges, had been centralised and joined to the child sex ring case.
The State prosecutor, Valencia Dube, informed the court that one more case in KwaZulu-Natal still needed to be tracked down, but that the matter could be set down for trial in the interim.
The trial is expected to begin on 16 January 2023.
With the centralisation of cases, the accused now faces 731 charges, including rape, sexual assault, trafficking, sexual grooming of a minor and possession and distribution of child pornography.
The cases that were centralised relate to indecent exposure, whereby the accused allegedly exposed himself to minor boys who had been on holiday.
TIF News previously reported that three more victims had since came forward – the youngest was 14 when the crimes were allegedly committed.
It is further understood the accused will now be facing more charges of rape.
Meanwhile, the accused is also on trial for the alleged sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in Sandton in August 2018.
The incident allegedly happened in a public bathroom at an upmarket country club in Johannesburg. The victim was at the country club to play a hockey match against another school.