Crime

I Still Have Love For Nasilasila, Says Alleged Rape Victim

Nasilasila, 27, appeared before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar at the High Court in Lautoka for a one-week trial, which started yesterday.
17 Sep 2019 13:58
I Still Have Love For Nasilasila, Says Alleged Rape Victim
Amenoni Nasilasila at the High Court in Lautoka on September 16, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

I still have a love for him because I was in a relationship and had friendship with him.

These were the words of a 24-year-old United Airlines flight attendant from the United States of America who is the complainant in the rape trial of former national 7s representative, Amenoni Nasilasila.

Nasilasila, 27, appeared before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar at the High Court in Lautoka for a one-week trial, which started yesterday.

Nasilasila is alleged to have raped the woman from Olosara, Sigatoka, on December 22, 2018.

Nasilasila has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution is represented by counsels from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Mezabeen Khan and Moira Konrote.

Nasilasila is represented by counsels Mark Anthony and Unaisi Baleilevuka.

Trial day 1:

State’s opening statement:

While presenting her case to the Judge and the three assessors, Ms Khan told the court that anyone could be a victim of rape.

Ms Khan told the court that her role was to present the evidence against the accused, in this case, Nasilasila.

All evidence will be oral testimonies of the witnesses and the state will tender documents such as photos of the house along with a sketched document.

The State has to prove that Nasilasila on December 22, 2018, at Olosara in Sigatoka, knew at that time the complainant had not given her consent to have sexual intercourse.

The prosecution will have to prove that the complainant did not consent and Nasilasila was aware of the same.

She told the court it was a case of two friends who once had a relationship.

The State’s case theory is that the complainant and accused were chatting and were in contact with each other until the day of the offence and that Nasilasila had forced the complainant to have sex with him and fled the scene afterwards.

Prosecution’s first witness –

the complainant:

The state’s first witness, who is the complainant, gave evidence yesterday.

The complainant told the court that she visited Fiji at the end of July last year until the end of December.

From September to the day of the alleged incident, she stayed with her aunt in Olosara, Sigatoka.

She told the court she met Nasilasila at the San Francisco International Airport when she greeted and welcomed the Fiji 7s rugby team in 2017 and since then, the two were in contact with each other.

They also had chatted on social media such as Facebook.

From 2017 until early 2018, she was in contact with him and they were friends and had friendly conversations.

During that period she met Nasilasila seven times including in the USA and in Fiji. The last three occasions of their meeting were at her house in Olosara, Sigatoka.

When she met Nasilasila at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka, they agreed to drink at her home and on the last occasion, Nasilasila went to her house unannounced.

She recalled the day of the alleged incident, which is on December 22, 2018. On the day, she was at home with her aunt who was getting ready to go to town.

She heard noises from outside and saw Nasilasila with two other men on the driveway.

She spoke with Nasilasila and could smell alcohol on him.

The complainant told the court that her aunt saw them together and also took a photo with Nasilasila and then her aunt went into town.

After her aunt left with the other two men, she was on the front porch speaking to Nasilasila and heard notifications on her phone which was being charged in her bedroom.

She told the court that she went inside her bedroom to check her phone and upon coming out, Nasilasila got hold of her and pushed her into the second bedroom where she fell down on a mattress.

The complainant told the court that she tried to stand up, however, by then Nasilasila had grabbed her undergarment and pulled it down.

She pushed Nasilasila off when he tried to get on top of her and grabbed her undergarment and ran out of the room into the bathroom.

She tried to lock the bathroom, however, by then Nasilasila was already inside the bathroom where he took off all her clothes. At the same time, she was fighting back.

The complainant told the court that she was scared of Nasilasila’s conduct and kept saying stop, however, she knew that Nasilasila was intoxicated.

She told the court that Nasilasila pushed her and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her.

The complainant told the court that she was scared, she felt weak and dirty. She told the court that she kept telling Nasilasila that she did not want to have sex, but he did not respond and told her that he wanted to have a baby with her.

She also told the court that the alleged offence lasted for 10 to 15 minutes.

After that, they heard noises coming from the living room and Nasilasila wore his clothes and went to check outside.

She also told the court that at that time, she had asked Nasilasila to pass her a towel because she wanted to clean herself. She waited for a few minutes, however, Nasilasila did not show up.

She went into the living room and saw that Nasilasila had already left the house.

She then locked the house, washed herself and checked her phone message on Facebook from her boyfriend who wanted to meet her in town. When she met her boyfriend, she told him that she wanted to go to the Police station and report the alleged incident.

Complainant’s cross-examination:

In cross-examination, the complainant told the court that she and Nasilasila had confessed their love for each other while they were chatting.

And the week before, they had made plans to meet and drink and that she was supposed to go to town with her aunt on December 22, 2018, however, she chose to stay back with Nasilasila.

Upon being asked why she did not run outside the house when the door was open to seeking help, the complainant told the court that she did not think of it and was scared.

The complainant told the court that she did not consent to have sex.

Mr Anthony also told the complainant that her medical findings stated there were no trauma or injuries recorded by the doctor in her medical examination.

Mr Anthony told the court that no such rape incident took place on December 22, 2018, and that she agreed to have sex with Nasilasila to which the complainant told the court no.

Mr Anthony also told the complainant that she had met with Isake Katonibau and informed him of her regret and sought help from him as she (the complainant) still loved him.

The complainant also told the court that she had met Nasilasila and his mother and apologised to Nasilasila’s mother for going ahead with the case although they asked her to withdraw the case.

Prosecution’s second witness –

the complainant’s boyfriend
Mitieli Mataibau:

Prosecution’s second witness 24-year-old Police officer, Mr Mataibau told the court that at first he did not believe the complainant’s allegations because he was with her on that day.

He told the court that the complainant messaged him on Facebook asking him to go to town with her.

When Mr Mataibau met the complainant in the bus, she relayed to him what happened at her house and started crying.

Mr Mataibau told the court that when he met the complainant, she was scared and looked confused and he urged her to report the matter because it was serious.

Second witness’ cross-examination:

Under cross-examination, Mr Mataibau told the court that the complainant did not inform him of the details of the alleged incident or how it took place or mentioned about going to the Police Station.

He told the court that he did not see any visible injuries on the complainant and that she was hesitant to tell him about the incident.

Mr Mataibau also told the court that he knew that the complainant and Nasilasila met in the USA, however, he was not aware of them having a relationship.

When she started crying, he then believed her story.

The trial continues before Justice Goundar today.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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