Crime & Court

‘Sold For Sex’ Trial: ‘Girl Told Me She Was Pregnant’

Werelagi told the court that he listened to her story while they walked to a shop where he bought six bottles of beer and cigarettes.
04 Dec 2019 13:23
‘Sold For Sex’ Trial: ‘Girl Told Me She Was Pregnant’
Josevata Werelagi outside High Court in Suva on November 28, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

Josevata Werelagi yesterday told the High Court that the complainant informed him that she was pregnant.

The 35-year-old revealed this when he gave evidence in his trial. Werelagi is accused of allegedly taking a teenager and forcing her into sex work.

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

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

 

The charges:

It is alleged that 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.

It is also alleged that between July 18, 2015, and July 22, 2015, in Nausori, he 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 from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions while Werelagi is represented by Talei Kean and Salote Nasedra from the Legal Aid Commission.

 

Trial day 7:

Werelagi told the court that on July 18, 2015, he first met the 15-year-old girl along the NewWorld Supermarket and RB Patel Supermarket passage in Nausori.

He told the court that he met the girl between 10 and 11 pm and that he had seen her the previous night.

Werelagi told the court that she went to him and asked about Roxy, who was Werelagi’s friend, after which they went their separate ways.

Werelagi then told the court that when he saw her, the girl was alone and wore a grey cardigan, three-quarter pants and was without any shoes.

He also told the court that before he boarded the minivan, he did not see the girl.

He told the court that most of the time, he would normally go to Samabula after hours, between 12 am and 5 am for his business.

Werelagi told the court that when he disembarked at the BSP branch in Samabula, he heard a call from behind him and saw the same girl he had met in Nausori.

He told the court that he asked the girl where she was going and she told him that she was going to her cousin’s house at Howell Road.

He told the court that he met his transgender friends in Samabula and they were joking about the drinking party from the night before.

He told the court that he had a fight with an iTaukei man in Samabula, after which he decided to go to his house in Waila.

Werelagi told the court that he could not recall where the girl was and that he did not know the girl was 15 years old at that time.

Werelagi told the court that as he was strolling to the Hot Bread Kitchen in Samabula, he heard the girl call him and later saw her get into an orange taxi, which had tooted its horn and stopped at the pedestrian crossing.

Werelagi then told the court that he got into a minibus with the man he was standing with and got off in Nabua. He realised that the girl was behind him when he walked towards the bus stop to have a cigarette.

Werelagi told the court that he questioned the girl about where she was going and she told him that she was heading to the same place as he was.

He told the court that they went to Nakasi from Nabua where they had fish and chips with juice and later got into another vehicle to go towards Nausori.

Werelagi told the court that he got off at Dilkusha and was walking towards his house when he heard the vehicle’s door shut and he heard the girl calling him ‘lewa lewa’.

He told the court that he noticed the girl and asked her where she was going, to which the girl replied that she was going to her cousin’s house in Navuso.

Werelagi also told the court that while talking to her, he learned that she was from Cautata and Vunimono and that she had family problems.

He also told the court that the girl informed him that she was pregnant and did not know how to inform her mother.

Werelagi told the court that he listened to her story while they walked to a shop where he bought six bottles of beer and cigarettes.

The trial continues today.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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