Crime

‘Sold For Sex’ Trial: Witness Says Josie Did Her No Harm

During the second day of cross-examination by the defence, the witness revealed to the court that Josie had allegedly threatened her by telling her that if she played around with him, he had a lot of transgender friends that could run after her and assault her.
29 Nov 2019 13:03
‘Sold For Sex’ Trial: Witness Says Josie Did Her No Harm
Josevata Werelagi outside High Court in Suva on November 28, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Josie never assaulted her, says a 19-year-old told the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Josevata Werelagi, 35, who is also known as Josie, appeared before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar.

The charges:

He is facing three counts of domestic trafficking in children and one count of aggravated sexual servitude.

It is alleged that Werelagi between July 18, 2015, and July 22, 2015, in Suva, by the use of threats or force caused a 15-year-old girl to enter into or remain in sexual servitude.

He is also charged with domestic trafficking in children.

It is alleged that between July 18, 2015, and July 20, 2015, in Nausori, Werelagi facilitated the transportation of a 15-year-old girl from Nausori town to Rewa Street and in facilitating the said transport, with intent that the girl will be used to provide sexual services.

The prosecution is represented by Lavenia Bogitini and Shirley Tivao while Werelagi is represented by Talei Kean and Salote Nasedra from the Legal Aid Commission.

Trial day 4:

During the second day of cross-examination by the defence, the witness revealed to the court that Josie had allegedly threatened her by telling her that if she played around with him, he had a lot of transgender friends that could run after her and assault her.

However, she told the court that she was never assaulted by the accused. She said she was forced to travel with him from Nausori Town to Samabula and to Rewa Street and back to Samabula and to the accused’s house in Waila.

The witness said she was forced to wear miniskirts and tight tops before they left the accused’s house.

She said she could have refused to travel with Josie but she did not because she was afraid of him. She told the court that at no point she was threatened.

However, she alleged that she was forced to follow Josie’s instructions.

The witness told the court that she was forced in terms of being told what to do. When Ms Nasedra put the proposition to the witness that she was bold enough to hide some money from Josie because she was not scared of him, the witness told the court that she hid the money because she wanted to buy food as she was hungry.

The trial continues today before Justice Goundar. Werelagi has been remanded in custody.

Edited by Percy Kean

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