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Accused, 68, Charged With The Rape Of 10-year-old Girl

Accused, 68, Charged With The Rape Of 10-year-old Girl
August 09
10:42 2018

Defence lawyer Gavin O’Driscoll encouraged three trial assessors in the High Court in Suva yesterday to draw their attention to the inconsistencies highlighted in the evidence of a 10-year-old alleged rape complainant.

The girl was living with the 68-year-old accused and his family in Ba when the alleged sexual abuse took place between 2012 and October 11, 2016. He is charged with four counts of rape.

During closing submissions before Justice Vinsent Perera, Mr O’Driscoll said the complainant had testified under oath that she had told the wife of the accused about the alleged incident however the wife denied this. She said in her evidence that no such conversation took place with the complainant adding that if she had known about the alleged incident she would have confronted her husband and reported the matter to the Police.

Mr O’Driscoll said the complainant also mentioned that she had told the granddaughter of the accused about the alleged incident immediately after it happened, but there was no mention of the granddaughter’s name in the complainant’s Police statement.

The granddaughter of the accused also testified that she was not aware of any conversation she had with the complainant and that if she had known about it she would have told her grandmother about it.

The court heard that the accused claimed to have no memory of going to the Riverside Hotel in Nausori in 2014 with the complainant who said she was allegedly raped by him at the hotel.

Mr O’Driscoll told the assessors that there were sufficient reasons to doubt the complainant’s evidence in its entirety because there were substantial differences in her statements to the Police and in court.

State lawyer Taitusi Tuenuku told the assessors that the complainant was dependant on the accused and his family for her daily needs after her father was sentenced to life in jail for murder and her mother went to Australia.

Mr Tuenuku asked the assessors why the complainant would risk her livelihood by fabricating the allegations against the accused.

He said the family of the accused called the complainant a liar when she alerted them about the alleged sexual abuse so it was no wonder that they refuted her claims in court that she had told them about the alleged incidents immediately after it happened.

The family claims that the girl and another family member made up the allegations to break the family apart and to get ownership of the family house which was under the name of the accused.

Mr Tuenuku told the assessors that was not the case because to this day the family house still belonged to the accused.

Justice Perera will deliver his summing up of the case today. The accused is on bail.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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