NEWS

Neighbour Found Guilty Of Raping Teen Girl

A 29-year-old man was found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting his 14-year-old neighbour by the High Court in Suva yesterday. Judge Justice Vincent Perera remanded the accused and said
24 Nov 2017 09:43
Neighbour Found Guilty Of Raping Teen Girl

A 29-year-old man was found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting his 14-year-old neighbour by the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Judge Justice Vincent Perera remanded the accused and said he would deliver his sentence on Monday.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Perera said he found the evidence of the victim reliable and credible despite a number of inconsistencies highlighted by the defence lawyer.

In addition, he said the different stories that were revealed in the evidence by the state witnesses – the mother, teacher and the friend of the victim were what they had perceived from listening to the victim. They were not present at the time of incident.

Moreover, Justice Perera said the child had been raped at the time when she was 13 and she had reported the matter some seven months later after she confidentially shared this secret with a trusted friend.

The defence lawyer, Jitendra Reddy, in his closing submissions had also submitted that the Police statement of the child was completely different from her story in court.

However, Justice Perera said it should be understood that the victim was only a child and she was giving her statement in Hindi while it was being written in English.

He also considered the state of mind that the child was in – fear and the many things she had over her mind, it could also be expected of the victim to read her statement in correct translations.

The accused was initially charged with one count each of rape; attempt to commit rape and indecent assault.

However, the court did not find evidence of attempt to rape and therefore put the accused on trial for rape and indecent assault.

The first incident had occurred at the house of the victim on February 13, 2016, when the accused had gone to her house to get his sister’s engagement cake. The second incident took place in the premises of the accused when the victim and her family had gone over for the accused’s sister’s wedding dinner later in April, 2016. He will be sentenced today.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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