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12 Years, 10 Months In Jail For Nephew’s Rape

12 Years, 10 Months In Jail For Nephew’s Rape
June 08
11:00 2018

A 23-year-old man convicted of raping his 15-year-old nephew on January 1, 2018, was sentenced to 12 years and 10 months in jail yesterday.

The sentence carries a non-parole period of 10 years and 10 months.

The accused was found guilty and convicted in the High Court in Suva of one count of rape.

He committed the crime during a family gathering for New Year’s celebration at the victim’s grand­parent’s house in Naveiwakau, Valelevu, while family members gathered at the porch to drink kava.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe said he found the offence very serious and the purpose of the accused’s sentence was deterrence.

He stated that the maximum pris­on sentence was life imprisonment and the tariff was between 10 to 16 years imprisonment.

Justice Rajasinghe said the level of harm was substantially high as well as the degree of culpability.

He said the victim had revealed in the Victim’s Impact Report that the offence had affected his education and communication with relatives.

The victim was in a vulnerable situation and had no chance of es­caping. The aggravating features include the breach of trust, age disparity and the fact that the vic­tim did not expect his uncle to do such a thing.

Justice Rajasinghe highlighted that the accused was a first offend­er. A permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order was imposed on him with standard non-molesta­tion and no-contact orders.

In his judgment Justice Rajasing­he said the complainant identified the accused in the dimly-lit room of the Valelevu house because of his tone and voice while the ac­cused was threatening him after raping him.

Justice Rajasinghe found that the victim was straightforward in his evidence and was credible and true. During closing submissions on Tuesday, State lawyer Lavenia Bogitini said the safety of children was important.

She added that what happened to the victim on that night is the re­ality of what is happening in Fiji, further posing the question, “What are we going to do about it?”

Ms Bogitini said the victim had testified that on that day there was a party on the porch of his grand­parents’ house and at about 11pm he went to sleep in one of the bed­rooms.

While sleeping he sensed some­one enter the bedroom and turn off the lights before closing the door.

The victim saw that it was his un­cle who had entered the bedroom.

He said his uncle pulled him from the bed onto the floor, raped him and then warned him against tell­ing anyone about the incident.

Legal Aid Commission lawyer Swarvana Prakash said her client did not commit the offence and the victim was clearly mistaken.

The accused chose to remain si­lent during trial.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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