The victim of a pervert shopkeeper says she “wouldn’t have bothered” reporting him had she known he would be released from prison early.
Rana Aslam, 50, was jailed for a year in May after being found guilty of inducing a 12-year-old into engaging in unlawful sexual activity with him between August 1998 and August 2000 at locations across Dundee, Arbroath, Tayport, Kingoodie and elsewhere.
He had groomed his victim into performing sex acts by plying her with gifts of money, perfume and alcohol.
Under current laws, a prisoner sentenced to four years or less is automatically entitled to early release after they have served two thirds of their sentence – meaning Aslam was allowed to enjoy Christmas at home with his family. Aslam was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
The victim, who is now in her early 30s and has a child of her own, said: “Having gone through the whole justice process I felt like they were more worried about his rights than mine.
“I was 12 when he did this, and I first reported it in 2015.
“I spent three years going through the process just for him to serve six months.
“I felt throughout that his lawyers were trying to get me to drop the complaint, which is maybe their job, and there were times when I felt like giving up.
“If I’d known this was what he was going to get maybe I wouldn’t have bothered.”
Last year Sheriff John Rafferty imposed the maximum sentence possible for the crime Aslam was convicted of.
The woman added: “You see people getting jailed for eight months for stealing from a shop.
“The sentencing doesn’t encourage people like me to come forward.
“It makes a mockery of the victims who do speak out.
“The system also needs to change to help people going through the process.
“During the case I spent every other day speaking to a different person on the phone trying to find out when the trial was, and I had to explain every day who I was and what had happened to me. I haven’t even told my dad about what happened to me yet.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “It would not be appropriate for us to comment on the sentencing or release.”