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Girl, 15, tells of alleged rape

Emotional mother backs daughter’s claims   A 15-year-old girl gave an account at the High Court in Suva yesterday of her alleged rape by her two cousins. The complainant took
24 May 2017 11:54
Girl, 15, tells of alleged rape
Rape

Emotional mother backs daughter’s claims

 

A 15-year-old girl gave an account at the High Court in Suva yesterday of her alleged rape by her two cousins.

The complainant took the witness stand before Justice Vincent Perera to testify against her alleged perpetrators.

 

Allegation and charges

The victim was 14 when the alleged rape happened in Tailevu.

The court heard she was allegedly raped by two men, who are her cousins.

The first accused, 27, committed the alleged attack on February 26, 2016.

Later the same evening, the second accused, 40, allegedly attempted to rape her while she was walking back home in the dark, after the first alleged incident took place.

The pair are charged with one count each of rape and attempt to rape. The trial began yesterday.

The state prosecutor is Susan Serukai.

 

Victim’s testimony

The complainant told the court that on February 26, 2016, she was allegedly pulled by the first accused when she was near the house.

She alleged the second accused took her inside the house, removed her skirt and undergarment and forced to have sex with her.

In her opening address for prosecution, Ms Serukai told the court that it was an agreed fact that the first accused had sex with the victim.

However, the dispute was that it happened without her consent.

Under cross examination by the defence lawyer, for the first accused, Esiteri Radrole, she told the complainant that her record in the Police statement and evidence in court contradicted each other.

Ms Radrole also put to her that prior to the incident that evening, the complainant and the accused had met twice, and had a talk about friends in the village.

The complainant disagreed with  this.

However, Ms Radrole told the court that the complainant was roaming infront of her client’s house when she was called inside and after a little talk, they had sex.

The defence lawyer further told the complainant that if she was in trouble then she would have called out for help because it was in a village setting and houses were nearby.

But the complainant said she could not call out for help because the second accused had covered her mouth.

However, under examination by the prosecution, the complainant had said that the first accused had covered her mouth.

Ms Radrole further put to her that she only met her client at his house.

The complainant told the court that on her way to her house, she met the second accused who tried to kiss her.

She further agreed that she is second generation cousins with the accused pair.

The complainant said whatever she gave as evidence in court was the true version of the incident – when the defence lawyer for the second accused, Namrata Mishra questioned her.

The complainant also told the court that she was scared of her mother and that was why she had said whatever was stated in her Police statement.

 

Second witness, complainant’s mother:

Filled with emotion, the complainant’s mother told the court that her daughter was shivering when she found her underneath a bed in their house after midnight on the said day.

She said her daughter did not say anything.

But later, she mentioned the names of her alleged perpetrators.

Her mother told the court that her daughter told her that she had done something wrong.

She said her aunt who had helped her search for her child that night then told her to hug her (complainant). To this the mother replied that no matter what her daughter had done, even bad, she would always love her.

Her mother said the first accused had lied to her about her daughter’s disappearance when she first questioned him on the night of the alleged incident. He also sought an apology from her, she told the court. The case continues today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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