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Farmer Gets 12 years For Raping Girl, 16

Farmer Gets 12 years For Raping Girl, 16
July 22
10:35 2016

A rapist was told by the High Court in Lautoka that he had instilled fear in the victim and had breached the trust reposed on him.

High Court judge Aruna Aluthge said this while sentencing a Rakiraki farmer to 12 years in jail for raping a 16-year-old girl.

Justice Aluthge also said this was a classic case where children were exploited for sexual purposes when they had come from a broken home.

The High Court in Lautoka heard that the accused, who faced four counts of rape and had actually carried out three of these offences in one day, had threatened to kill the victim if she reported it.

The victim’s father had died before the offence took place and her mother was in a de facto relationship with another man.

Since the victim’s brother did not approve of their mother’s de facto relationship, he arranged for his sister to stay with the wife of the accused, since they were related.

Some time in March 2013, the wife of the accused went to Colasi and the victim received a death threat from the accused before he raped her. She did not report the incident because she feared for her life.

The victim’s mother lodged a complaint with Police saying the accused was in a sexual relationship with her daughter, but the accused and his wife countered this by forcing the victim to write a letter to the Magistrate and say that the allegation was false.

On May 26, 2013, the accused had raped the victim three times, between 4 to 5pm, at 6pm and at 9.30pm after which she reported the matter and Police were called in. As for aggravating factors Justice Aluthge said the victim’s vulnerability was clearly manifested in that she lived under the roof of the accused and depended on his family for everything.

Other factors noted by Justice Aluthge included a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) issued against the victim’s mother earlier where she could not see her, the house was at the furthest point in the jungle area where the accused stayed and that the letter she had written to the Magistrate effectively stopped her from saying the accused was a rapist.

In mitigation, the accused submitted he was the sole breadwinner of his family of three children and looked after his elderly mother.

Justice Aluthge made a starting point of 11 years of each count, and added four years for aggravating factors bringing the interim sentence to 15 years.

He reduced this by three years for mitigating factors bringing the final sentence to 12 years and imposed a non parole period of eight years.

The accused has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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