AMMAN — The Criminal Court has sentenced a 49-year-old man to death for molesting and raping his daughter in an Amman neighbourhood.

The defendant was found guilty of molesting his daughter, who is now 17 years old, from the age of nine and raping her 288 times from the age of 12, and sentenced to death.

The daughter became pregnant at the age of 13 as a result of the rapes and delivered a baby boy in March 2009.

Court papers said the defendant had divorced his wife when the victim was six months old and she was sent to her aunt’s house to live.

When the victim turned nine, the court added, she was sent to live with her father and was sleeping with him in the same room, while her brother stayed in a second room in the same house.

“The defendant started molesting his daughter when she was nine and he would also physically assault her to discipline her,” the court transcripts said.

When his daughter turned 12, the court added, the defendant began raping her regularly after threatening to beat her and kill her.

“The defendant raped his daughter 288 times and was constantly threatening to kill her if she exposed him to anyone,” the court papers said.

How the court determined the precise number of incidents was not clear from the documents.

On October 3, 2008, the victim informed her older brother and cousin that she might be pregnant and revealed that her father had been raping her.

“Her brother and cousin took her to the Family Protection Department to file a complaint and the father was immediately arrested,” the court said.

The victim told the court that she was disgusted by her father. “I used to love him but not anymore and I would like to see him punished for what he did to me,” court transcripts quoted her as saying.

A DNA test conducted by the criminal lab indicated that the defendant was the biological father of the child, who was sent to a social care centre shortly after his birth, the court added.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges in earlier court sessions.

The defendant was referred to the National Institute of Psychiatric Medicine for a psychological evaluation, during which doctors determined that he was sane and fit to stand trial after examining him for two months.

The tribunal comprised judges Ahmad Atoun, Mohammad Khatib and Mohammad Ammarin.

The September 30 verdict will be automatically reviewed by the Cassation Court within 30 days.