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Man Acquitted of Rape but Convicted of Sexual Assault

Man Acquitted of Rape but Convicted of Sexual Assault
December 01
11:00 2017

 

Te High Court in Suva acquitted a 32-year-old man on Wednesday on two counts of rape. However it convicted him on a charge of sexual assault.

Judge Justice Riyaz Hamza agreed with the opinion of the three assessors when delivering his judgment.

On March 16 this year, the accused was alleged to have raped his defacto partner’s three-year-old adopted daughter in their home in Pacific Harbour.

The accused denied the charges throughout trial.

In his evidence, he claimed that the little girl was forced to say everything that she had said about the alleged incident.

He said the allegation was a conspiracy against him which arose after he had an affair with the little girl’s biological mother, who was his defacto partner’s niece.

The accused stated that he loved the child very much and she loved him equally and he would not do anything to harm her.

During the trial, the child testified that the accused poked her private part, demonstrating the act by pointing with the middle finger of her right hand.

She said she was lying down at the time and the accused was standing up.

She stated that she felt sore when he committed the act.

When the child was asked to show her private parts, she demonstrated by showing the leg of a doll.

When asked where she wore her diaper she demonstrated by lifting the doll’s dress.

In cross examination, the child said the accused poked her at night and nodded yes indicating it was after school.

She said that she told her mother about the alleged incident.

The accused’s defacto partner said she was in total shock and did not know what to say or how to react when she found out about the alleged incident.

Trained psychotherapist Dr Selina Kuruleca who had been working as a psychologist since 2001 gave evidence as a defence witness.

She testified about the normal and usual behaviour patterns of children between the ages of one to four-years-old.

Dr Kuruleca said when looking at the development milestones of children, how they play, talk, interact and think, if it was unsatisfactory than it was likely that the child was trained to say those things.

The accused was further remanded in custody to wait for his sentence hearing on December 7.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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