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Assessors Return Guilty Opinion on 54-Year-Old

Assessors Return Guilty Opinion on 54-Year-Old
May 31
11:00 2018

The 54-year-old Tailevu man alleged to have raped his 17-year-old niece on February 2, 2017, was found guilty in the opinion by all three assessors at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

The accused is charged with one count of rape and is alleged to have had carnal knowl­edge of the complainant without her consent inside his house. The alleged incident hap­pened in a village in Tailevu.

State lawyer Taitusi Tuenuku is prosecuting the case while Legal Aid Commission lawyer Swarvana Prakash is representing the ac­cused.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe will deliver his judgment today. During summing up, Jus­tice Rajasinghe said the complainant knew the accused because they lived in the same village.

On the day of the alleged incident she went to his house to buy ice block and after giving him the money and receiving the ice block the accused asked her to help him recharge his mobile phone.

She entered his house and he gave her his phone while he went to the bedroom to bring the recharge card.

While returning from bedroom he went to the kitchen and put the curtains down then he approached the complainant and grabbed her from behind.

He allegedly wrapped one hand below her breast and used his other hand to cover her mouth. The court heard that the accused then dragged her into the bedroom and raped her.

After the alleged incident he threatened her that if she told anyone he would go after her and do something worse to her.

He then gave her his mobile phone and told her to come to him if she ever needed any­thing. The complainant testified that she hid inside the bathroom after the alleged inci­dent and did not tell anyone because she was scared and embarrassed.

When her father found out about the phone the complainant lied to him that it was given to her by two boys in the village. When her father accompanied her to return the phone to the two boys they denied it was theirs.

Justice Rajasinghe said the complainant cried when her father asked her twice about it, after which she told him that the accused had raped her inside his house.

The girl’s parents then reported the matter to the Police. The accused chose not to give evidence during trial.

Justice Rajasinghe said he was well within his rights to do so and it did not prove any­thing to establish his guilt.

The defence denied the allegation through­out trial.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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