A first professional photo shoot has left a young Paarl girl in trauma after a photographer allegedly raped her.
Annie van Staden was 19 years old when she was sexually assaulted by a well-known photographer a year ago. She said about two years ago, she contacted Shaun Abrahams for his services – and at the time, he told her that he doesn’t take pictures of underage girls.
Van Staden said she forgot about the short conversation – and when she was 19 years old, he contacted her, informing her about a modelling competition and that he would take the photographs.
“He told me about this competition, and I was excited. However, he said it would cost me R300 for the pictures, and I was okay with that,” she said.
She said on the day of the shoot, she drove with Abrahams to where he would take the photographs.
“Everything seemed normal on our way to the place where the pictures were to be taken. He then parked in a spot where cars were not passing, isolated. He then gave me some tequila. Then, after some time, he forced himself on me and raped me,” she said.
Van Staden said it was traumatic, and she was scared and angry because she had been violated. However, she let seven days pass before telling someone about the rape.
“We went to the police station and reported the case. It was hard for me to do it, but I had to; I could no longer keep it in,” she said.
She explained that she went through various tests, and the police informed her that they were looking for Abrahams. However, Abrahams has disappeared. He is on the run, moving from town to town in the Western Cape.
Action Society has visited Van Staden and will be assisting her. In addition, Action Society received a mandate from the young woman to support and act as a watching brief to oversee the prosecution if and when the perpetrator is arrested.