Crime

Former Fiji 7s Rep Among Six Men Jailed For Rape

Labalaba was also charged with one count of assault causing actual bodily harm for punching the victim, which caused visible swellings on the right side of her cheek.
17 Oct 2019 13:09
Former Fiji 7s Rep Among Six Men Jailed For Rape
The Lautoka High Court. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Six men of Solevu, Nadi including former National 7s rep Nacanieli Labalaba, who were charged with rape, were each sentenced to 11 years,  nine months and 15 days imprisonment by the High Court in Lautoka.

Judge Justice Rangajeeva Wimalasena sentenced Aporosa Dauvucu, Sevanaia Lalabalavu,Tevita Vibote, Sevanaia Varani, Waisake Wainidilo and Nacanieli Labalaba guilty on one count of rape.

Labalaba was also charged with one count of assault causing actual bodily harm for punching the victim, which caused visible swellings on the right side of her cheek.

The particulars of the offence were that between March 2015  in Nadi the complainant was drinking with the six men until she fell asleep. She woke up to the men sexually assaulting her.

The complainant told the court that each accused persons took four to five minutes while committing the acts on her which made her feel too weak to leave.

The court heard that upon hearing the victim screaming a 29-year-old farmer of Solevu Village, Nadi came to assist her and the matter was reported to the Nadi Police Station.

Justice Wimalasena said the manner in which the offence was committed was serious because it was in a village by a group of men having forceful sexual intercourse with a woman who was drunk and weak.

“Rape not only affects the physical integrity of a victim but violates the human dignity leaving lifelong scars of psychological devastation bringing about a sense of self-blame and hopelessness which does not leave easily even long after the physical injuries have healed,” Justice Wimalasena said.

He said the men’s actions brought shame upon themselves, their families and village.

“Your actions can be best described as disgusting, selfish and lustful for your sexual gratification, you had no regard for the safety, pain and suffering of the victim,” Justice Wimalasena said.

Justice Wimalasena sentenced the six men to 11 years, nine months and 15 days imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine years.

However, for Labalaba the sentence of five months imprisonment for assault will be served concurrently with the sentence of rape.

The men have been given 30 days to appeal their sentences.

Edited by Percy Kean

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