Man jailed two years for sex crime against 15 year old

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Court House

Court House

Eteru Alualu, 29, of Fuailoloo Mulifanua, has been sentenced to two years in prison. 

This is in connection to a sex related case inside a home in Mulifanua. 

Eteru appeared for sentencing on one charge of assault with intent to commit sexual violation, burglary and wilful trespass.  

He pleaded guilty to the charges on 20 November, 2017. 

However because the accused disputed some parts of the summary of facts, a hearing proceeded on 8 March, 2018.

Sentencing was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren yesterday afternoon. 

According to the prosecution summary of facts, on the night of 21 October 2017, the victim, who was 15 years old, was sleeping with her younger sister inside their bedroom. 

“Around 2 a.m., the accused who had been drinking on the seawall in front of the victim’s house, went into the victim’s house and into the victim’s room.” 

“He locked the door from the inside and removed his pants. He lay on the victim’s back and when she woke up, she began to scream.” 

“The accused blocked her mouth with his hands and tried to pull off her top. The victim’s younger sister woke up and went to wake their father. The accused ran off leaving his pants,” stated Justice Tafaoimalo during sentencing. 

She points to the pre-sentence report which says the accused is 29 years old, married and was employed in construction until he was remanded into custody as a result of this matter.  

“He was fined $300 by the Village Council. He has paid his fine.”

“The village mayor told probation that the accused attends to duties and activities expected of untitled men in the village.”

“The accused says about the offending that he was drinking vodka on the seawall behind the victim’s home when he saw a mobile phone next to the window.” 

“He went inside the room in which the victim and her younger sister were sleeping. He turned on the mobile phone and the victim woke up. She screamed and he blocked her mouth with his hand.” 

“He says it was to silence the victim from waking up other people in the house. He has expressed remorse to probation. There has been no apology by the accused to the victim’s family,” said Justice Tafaoimalo. 

SUPREME COURT: Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Warren.
SUPREME COURT: Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Warren.

The victim is 15 years old and on the night in question, her nose was bruised and her lip was bleeding after the incident. 

“There has been no reconciliation and she feels scared and unsafe within her own home. She has not forgotten the incident and wants the accused punished.” 

Justice Tafaoimalo points out that it’s aggravating that there was actual violence involved in this offending. She suffered minor injuries as a result of his actions.

“The effect on the victim has been significant. She does not feel safe anymore and cannot forget what happened.”

“This offending was part of a home invasion which is aggravating.”

“The victim was particularly vulnerable because she was sleeping with her younger sister in the same room, and they are both young girls, being 15 and 14 years respectively at the time.” 

Pertaining to mitigating factors, she took into account his early guilty plea and the penalty paid to the Village Council.

Justice Tafaoimalo said this offending was opportunistic at the outset by an intoxicated man. 

“However once he entered the house of the victim, his intention to commit sexual violation or in other words rape became apparent by his actions.” 

“Too often alcohol has been the cause of sexual offending. Fortunately for this victim, she woke and her father was alerted before anything more sinister occurred.” 

“Alcohol is no excuse for this type of blatant home invasion as well as intended sexual offending.” 

“The accused got to a point of intoxication whereby he went into the victim’s house and into her room, undressed himself, physically restrained the victim and tried to remove her top.” 

“He had no regard for her or for her family.”

“The sentence imposed today (Tuesday) is a sentence of deterrence and to ensure the protection of the community and in particular people who are attacked in their own homes where they have a right to feel safe.” 

The accused is convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual violation and sentenced to two years imprisonment. For burglary, he was sentenced to one year imprisonment, regarding wilful trespass; he was sentenced to two years. 

However sentencing is concurrent, meaning he will serve two years in jail. 

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