NATION

State Counsel to Man Convicted of Rape: You’re Old But What You Did Will Haunt Her

The State Counsel in the case against a 71-year-old Tailevu man convicted of raping his 13-year-old grandniece told the High Court yesterday that even though the accused is old, what
30 May 2018 11:00
State Counsel to Man Convicted of Rape: You’re Old But What You Did Will Haunt Her

The State Counsel in the case against a 71-year-old Tailevu man convicted of raping his 13-year-old grandniece told the High Court yesterday that even though the accused is old, what he did to the victim will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Taitusi Tuenuku made sentence submissions to Justice Riyaz Hamza on behalf of the Prosecu­tion while Legal Aid Commission lawyer Sokoveti Daunivesi made mitigation submissions for the ac­cused.

He said the accused chose not to plead guilty to the two counts of rape that he is charged with and the matter proceeded to trial after which he was convicted.

The accused is the victim’s pater­nal granduncle.

He raped the girl on August and October of 2015.

Mr Tuenuku said the accused was fully responsible for his actions.

He saw the girl from his window and after showing $5 to her, she ig­nored him and he followed her to the pig pen where he raped her.

On October, 2015, he used threats to strike fear in her and used force on her.

Mr Tuenuku said the victim testi­fied in Court that she wanted to kill herself and while in school she kept thinking about what the accused did to her.

She also testified that she failed her exam because of that and her friends stopped talking to her.

In her Victim Impact Report she stated that she was traumatised and she could not forget what happened.

Mr Tuenuku said the accused had breached the victim’s trust and had taken advantage of her vulnerabil­ity and naivety.

His actions in raping her were also a complete disregard of societal and religious rules which frowned upon sexual relations between young girls and elders in the community.

The Court heard that the accused was a first offender.

Mr Tuenuku said crimes of rape have become too frequent and the accused’s sentence should reflect public outrage.

He said the purpose of the sen­tence should be a deterrence and denunciation of what the accused had done.

Ms Daunivesi said the accused is a widower with five children and works on a contractual basis as a cleaner. Ms Daunivesi also sought the leniency of the Court.

The accused will be sentenced to­day.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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