NATION

Trial of stepfather facing rape charge begins tomorrow

The complainant was 12 years old at the time of the offence while the accused was 36 years old.
30 Apr 2019 10:57
Trial of stepfather facing rape charge begins tomorrow

The trial of a 37-year-old stepfather facing multiple sexual offence charges will begin at the High Court in Suva tomorrow (Wednesday).

The accused appeared before Justice Daniel Goundar yesterday.

He is charged with one count of sexual assault and two counts of rape.

The alleged incidents occurred between 2017 and 2018 in Nausori.

The accused was the paternal uncle of the complainant and later became the stepfather.

The complainant was 12 years old at the time of the offence while the accused was 36 years old.

State Prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Sheenal Swastika told the court that the agreed facts had been finalised and given to the defence lawyer and the prosecution was waiting for the response.

She also told the court that the State would call calling three witnesses in the matter including the complainant.

Ms Swastika also made applications for closed court proceedings while the complainant gave evidence in court, using screen protection and name suppression for the complainant, which was granted by Justice Goundar.

Defence lawyer from the Legal Aid Commission Lavenia David told the court that the accused denied all the charges.

She also told the court that the accused would not be calling any witnesses.

Justice Goundar said to both the counsels that the proposed assessors list was ready for both the counsels to check and file objections if any before the trial.

The accused was remanded in custody pending trial.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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