Pastor Raped Me And My Mum: Woman Tells Court
A woman told the court yesterday that their pastor raped her and her mother.
The 23-year-old, who was 19 at the time, was the second prosecution witness to testify in the trial of Iowane Vakadranu, 74.
Vakadranu, who is charged with four counts of rape, appeared before Judge Justice Vincent Perera at the High Court in Suva.
It is alleged that between October 1, 2012, and October 21, 2015, in Vanua Levu and Tailevu, Vakadranu allegedly raped two of his church members.
SECOND PROSECUTION WITNESS
The woman told the court that between September 1, 2013, and October 31, 2013, during the one-on-one sessions with the pastor, something unusual happened.
She said: “Iowane told me to be strong for this is the call of God and that he was appointed to do this.”
“He told me to take off my clothes and I listened to him because we knew he was our pastor and we respected him.
“I did not consent to him having sexual intercourse with me,” she told the court.
She further told the court that she cried when Vakadranu committed the act because she was helpless.
She said Vakadranu told her to be strong and it was what God had called him to do and had appointed him to do so.
She said: “Vakadranu told us that whatever happened during the one-on-one sessions are not to be told to anyone.
“My mother went to report the matter because this also happened to her and I am no longer a member of that church after what was done to me and my mother,” she said.
Vakadranu told the court that it was not rape, but a lesson on the physical body.
He further stated that he was using a law of health, which was that ‘prevention is better than cure’ to teach and preach to the youths so that they could cure diseases without the use of medicines.
Vakadranu said that the two women had consented and they were both leaders of the church, teaching leadership for a mission.
Vakadranu said: “Yes I did have sex with them but it is not love and it’s not the lust of the flesh.
“They were being prepared for a mission not to commit adultery so that they would know the taste and will not go and do it outside but only me to do it.
“I am the only one that should do it because I am their leader and advisor.”
When defence lawyer Semi Tinivata asked Vakadranu what were his intentions for the alleged acts, he said it was part of their teachings.
Vakadranu said: “They should know it is part of their teaching and once it was done to them they are ready to go for mission.
“It’s not considered sexual intercourse but it’s a lesson which I take few minutes teaching to them.”
Edited by Caroline Ratucadra