Crime & Court

Rapist Gets 9 Years, 9 Months, Non-Parole Period Of 8 Years Jail Time

The victim came to Fiji with her husband for their holidays on December 7, and checked into the resort where the offender worked at.
23 Sep 2020 12:06
Rapist Gets 9 Years, 9 Months, Non-Parole Period Of 8 Years Jail Time

You were part of the hospitality and tourism industry and such a behaviour of rape does not give a good name to Fiji and its people. Any amount of negative publicity involving tourists affects the tourism industry which should not be taken lightly.

This is what Judge Justice Sunil Sharma told 36-year-old Epi Soga Turagaca while handing down a sentence of nine years and nine months imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight years for raping a tourist inside her Bure room at a resort.

On December 12, 2019, at Lautoka, Turagaca raped a woman who was a New Zealand citizen and 51 years old.

The victim came to Fiji with her husband for their holidays on December 7, and checked into the resort where the offender worked at.

On December 12, the victim and her husband returned to their bure after having dinner at around 1am.

Before going to bed, the victim’s husband did not lock the room door and slept.

The victim awoke to find the offender committing the act.

The offender attempted to flee and resort staff were alerted. Upon returning to their room, the victim discovered shirt buttons.

The manager of the resort was alerted and an investigation was carried out, a meeting was convened. The offender brought a different shirt and upon checking the camera, it was discovered that the offender was wearing a different shirt.

After a search was conducted in the resort premises, the staff were able to find the shirt worn by the offender, hidden inside the male staff quarters washroom in between the double walls which the offender’s name on it.

The court heard that the offender had pleaded guilty to the charge of rape and was remorseful for his actions, sought forgiveness from the court and wished to live a respectful life.

Justice Sharma said the victim was a tourist and a guest at the resort where the offender was employed at.

He said the offender was expected to exercise a sense of responsibility and protection towards the guest of the resort, however, he grossly breached the trust of the victim by his actions in entering her bure and doing what he did to her. He said Turagaca had committed a serious offence against the victim who was a visitor to our shores what was expected to be a happy holiday by the victim was spoil by him for his selfish reasons.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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