Ian Venter, prominent George dentist, was arrested on Monday after he allegedly contravened the conditions of his sentence in 2014.
The 45-year-old father of three was sentenced in December 2014 to four years house arrest following his conviction on several charges including performing sexual acts on a minor and two charges relating to showing pornographic material to a minor.
One of the conditions of his sentence was that he was not allowed to work with children. It has, however, come to light that he was allegedly treating children at his dental practice while serving his sentence.
He was subsequently arrested at his practice in the town centre on Monday and applied for bail in the George Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
He was released on bail of R5 000 and the matter postponed to July 25 for further investigation.
He, however, has to appear in the Thembalethu Regional Court on June 9 on another matter.
Venter, who last year pleaded not guilty, is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy during a sleepover at his Herolds Bay home on April 11, 2015.
Venter was arrested by the George family violence and sexual offences unit and, according to police, is accused of allegedly going into the guestroom of his home, where the 12-year-old boy was sleeping, and touching his private parts. The boy was visiting Venter’s son.
Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) Western Cape spokesperson Joanne Barrett said that she and her colleagues were outraged by the court’s decision to release Venter on bail despite his previous conviction and pending case.
“We are outraged by the court’s decision to have granted Venter bail. Who is accountable for the crimes committed while under house arrest? Who is protecting our children? Does something horrendous need to happen for the justice system to start taking these cases seriously? Venter has clearly shown he has no respect for the law. It would be in the interest of society to keep him behind bars,” Barrett said.
Barrett further criticised the decision, saying that with the current scourge of violence, rape and murder against women and children in the country one would “think that the justice system would instill confidence”.
“WMACA has been involved in several efforts to bring an end to the granting of bail to sexual offenders and predators where children are involved.”