Man on trial for alleged rape

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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The defendant and his family outside the Court Room.

The defendant and his family outside the Court Room.

An assessor’s trial is underway in connection with the alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl by her stepfather in October 2017. 

Presiding Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren, issued a suppression order on the name of the victim. 

The defendant is represented by Leiataualesa Komisi Koria while prosecuting for the Attorney General’s office is Lucymaria Sio-Ofoia. 

The defendant is married to the victim’s mother and they have two children. 

The victim took the stand, telling the court that she was allegedly raped twice by her stepfather. 

“I remember it was right before White Sunday last year, when I was in the bedroom and the defendant called me to come into their bedroom. 

“I obliged and went into the room, when he removed my shorts and had sexual intercourse.” 

Her testimony was made behind a screen, which was set up by the Court Registrar to prevent the defendant from seeing her in the courtroom. 

The Assessors heard from the young girl that it was a painful experience and that it happened again two days later. 

“Afterwards he told me not to tell anyone, even my mother but I told my cousin and my sister,” she said. 

During cross examination, Leiataualesa questioned the victim on what he said were inconsistencies in her statement, which were given to the police as well as the oral testimonies made before the Assessors. 

However, the victim was adamant with her statement, saying: “What I told the police is what I am telling you now.” 

The lead investigator, police officer Josephine Tanielu, read out the cautioned statement in Court, which was signed by the defendant, the witnessing officer and the victim.  

Tanielu, when reading out the statement, noted that the defendant had already apologized to his wife’s family and his own family for what allegedly occurred.

“What more can I say, I have already apologized to my family, my wife’s family for what I did to the girl,” he read. 

The hearing continues.

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