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14-years, 7 Months Jail Term For Raping Stepdaughter

14-years, 7 Months Jail Term For Raping Stepdaughter
May 29
10:55 2018

A 35-year-old Nadi man was sentenced to 14 years and seven months im­prisonment with a non-parole pe­riod of 12 years yesterday for raping his ‘special needs’ stepdaughter.

The accused lived with the victim, her mother and two brothers in Nadi and at the time of the incident she was 14 years and seven months old.

On June 14, 2015, her mother left for work at around 7am and the accused, who was employed as a car washer, returned home from work at 8am. After a while he gave some money to the victim’s brothers to go to the shop and buy sweets.

When he was alone in the house with the victim, he followed her into the bedroom, locked the door and raped her.

The court heard an account of what hap­pened to the victim, how she wanted to shout, but the accused threatened her.

The victim also tried to tell someone about what her stepfather did to her, but he threat­ened her with a cane knife saying he would chop her if she talked about it.

The next day she went to school and told her teachers about what had happened.

The matter was then reported to the Social Welfare Department and the Police.

In mitigation, the accused said that he was a first time offender, was 30-years-old at the time, the sole breadwinner and his elderly parents were dependent on him for support.

The accused submitted that he was a good person and sought the leniency of the court.

He also stated that he did not use any physical or aggressive force on the victim to make her submit to the unlawful act and that he had co-operated with the Police.

While passing the accused’s sentence Jus­tice Sunil Sharma said the accused had breached the victim’s trust as her stepfa­ther.

The accused knew the victim was a special needs child who was innocent and vulner­able at the time of the offending.

There was also a certain degree of plan­ning by him when he sent the victim’s two brothers to the shop to buy sweets so that he could be alone in the house with her.

Justice Sharma also took into considera­tion the substantial age difference between the accused and the victim.

He said it was the court’s duty to protect children from sexual exploitation of any kind which is why the law had imposed life imprisonment as the maximum penalty.

He also mentioned that there has been an increase in sexual offences involving of­fenders who were matured adults, adding the accused could not be forgiven for what he had done.

“You have not only scarred the victim’s life forever, but have brought shame to the sanc­tity of the relationship,” Justice Sharma said.

“It is unacceptable to note the manner in which you had breached the trust of this child, no amount of repentance will bring back what she had lost.”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra


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