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Eight Years Jail For Assault, Rape

Eight Years Jail For Assault, Rape
April 13
12:32 2018

 

A 21-year-old fisherman charged with one count of sexual assault and two counts of digital rape has been sen­tenced to eight years and six months in jail by the High Court in Labasa.

The accused, represented by Legal Aid Commission lawyer Vilisoni Tuicolo, ap­peared before Justice Daniel Goundar.

He voluntarily pleaded guilty to the charge.

The court heard that in 2016 the accused sexually abused the victim when she came to his village with her parents to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

At the time the victim was 12 years old and the accused lured her into the bushes and removed her skirt and underwear and committed the offence.

Justice Goundar said in assessing the seriousness of the accused’s acts, he took into account that he did not use any form of force or physical violence on the victim.

The accused pleaded guilty to the charges before the case was listed for trial.

Justice Goundar said the accused’s ex­pression was remorseful and provided re­lief to victim who is a child from the fur­ther trauma of giving evidence in court.

Taking into account all the mitigating and aggravating factors, Judge Justice Goundar sentenced the accused to six months for sexual assault and eight years imprisonment for each count of rape to be served concurrently.

He declined to fix a non-parole period, stating that the accused was relatively young, 19 years old when he committed the offence, he was a first offender and the of­fence he committed did not involve the use of threats or physical abuse.

The court said the accused had taken re­sponsibility for his conduct and was genu­inely remorseful.

“In these special circumstances, it is justified to accord the accused with an op­portunity to rehabilitate while serving his sentence,” Justice Goundar said.

“I refer him for counselling by Empower Pacific and the victim for counselling by Medical Services Pacific.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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