NATION

Judge: Sexual Exploiters By Known Perpetrators A Menace

The sexual exploitation of children by known people has become a social menace in Fiji. This requires a more constructive and effective in­tervention of law enforcement authorities, including the Court
23 Aug 2018 10:00

The sexual exploitation of children by known people has become a social menace in Fiji.

This requires a more constructive and effective in­tervention of law enforcement authorities, including the Court of Law, says High Court judge Justice Thushara Ra­jasinghe.

He made the comment in his ruling on a child rape case.

Justice Rajasinghe sentenced the 28-year-old man to 13 years and 11 months imprisonment on Monday for raping a 14-year-old girl in 2015.

He told the accused that he denied the teenage girl her natural growth in life when he raped her.

He was 25-years-old at the time and was residing with the girl’s family in Kadavu.

In passing sentencing, Justice Rajasinghe said the ac­cused had blatantly breached the trust put to him by the victim and her family who had provided him a home to stay. It was proved at the conclusion of the hearing that he entered the victim’s room at night while she was sleep­ing and raped her. A few months after the first incident, the court heard he entered her room again and raped her.

Both incidents happened when the girl’s parents were in Suva.

“This is a case of sexual exploita­tion of a young child by a known person within her own domestic environment,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

“Young children are the most vulnerable victims of sexual as­sault of this nature.”

A non-parole period of 11 years and 11 months imprisonment was also imposed.

Name suppression orders were also imposed to protect both the accused and the victim.

He was found guilty and convicted for three counts of rape, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprison­ment.

In view of the seriousness of the offence, Justice Rajas­inghe said offenders must be dealt a severe and harsh pun­ishment.

“Undoubtedly, a crime of this nature adversely affects the child both psychologically and socially. Hence, I find the level of harm is substantially high in this crime.”

The accused was given 30 days to appeal.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj




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