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Man, 87, Jailed For 10 Years For Rape

Man, 87, Jailed For 10 Years For Rape
Jailed
June 08
11:00 2018

A n 87-year-old man who raped his 11-year-old ten­ant between May 1-31, 2016, was sentenced to 10 years impris­onment yesterday by judge Jus­tice Salesi Temo.

The accused was charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. Justice Temo accepted the victim’s evidence for count one as credible and convict­ed the accused accordingly.

During sentencing at the High Court in Suva, Justice Temo said the accused had breached the neighbourly bond shared between him and the complainant and her family who were renting in one of his flats in 10 miles, Nakasi.

He said the victim treated the ac­cused as her grandfather and they trusted him, however, unbeknown to them the accused was harbour­ing bad intentions inside of him.

Justice Temo said the court will continue to pass long sentences to signify that it does not tolerate the abuse of children who are the fu­ture of this country.

He said the accused exploited the child’s naivety to satisfy his evil intentions and had no regard for the girl’s right to live a happy and peaceful life.

He added that the purpose of the sentence was to punish the ac­cused in a manner which was just in all circumstances, to protect the community from people like him and to deter would-be offenders.

After the accused was convicted, state lawyer Kimberly Semisi ten­dered the Victim’s Impact Report, which revealed that the complain­ant was afraid to sit beside men and was always staring.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Barbara Malimali submitted that the accused was 87-years-old and has been a widower since 2011, has six children who are all married, and 16 grandchildren.

The accused had been in remand for one month prior to his trial and he suffers from various medi­cal conditions such as high blood pressure, prostate issues, diabetes, poor hearing, eye problems and has difficulty urinating.

Ms Malimali urged Justice Temo to impose a sentence below the tariff because of the accused’s old age and health problems.

The aggravating features sub­mitted by Ms Semisi were the age disparity between the accused and the victim, the breach of trust and the fact that the accused took ad­vantage of the girl’s vulnerability and naivety. Ms Semisi said that by committing the offence the ac­cused had complete disregard for societal and religious rules.

Ms Malimali requested the court to consider that by sentencing the accused it might put him in a posi­tion to be bullied in prison.

She also requested if he could be given a suspended sentence with strict conditions and be made to undergo counselling.

In his summing up, Justice Temo said the victim including her mother and six siblings, rented the upstairs flat adjacent to the ac­cused’s flat in 10 Miles, Nasinu.

The accused was their landlord.

He said the vicitm’s mother worked as a cook at a restaurant and when she was not at home the complainant would look after her siblings at home. He said on the day of the alleged incidents the ac­cused called the girl into his bed­room and asked her to tidy his bed to which she obliged.

While she was tidying the bed, he grabbed her and kissed her. On another occasion he called her again to his bedroom, took off her clothes, pushed her to the bed and raped her for about 10 seconds.

The victim testified that she was bleeding and it was painful. Mean­while, the doctor who examined the accused on June 1, 2016, said men in their 80s had a 40 per cent to 50 per cent chance of having a penile erection.

Dr Lanieta Vakarau Vanua gave evidence as a defence witness and said she examined the accused after he complained of urine ob­struction.

State lawyer Kimberly Semisi questioned her if the accused’s medication for diabetes and heart problem had an effect on his erec­tion.

The doctor responded saying it had no effect.

Justice Temo then questioned Dr Vanua if a person in his 80s still had a sex drive, to which she said the person would have a sex drive but it would have decreased at that age compared with the sex drive of a 20-year-old.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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