An uncle, who raped his niece, while her mother was attending bingo, has been found guilty.
The verdict followed the completion of an Assessors Trial last week.
The matter was presided over by Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren who issued a suppression order on the details of the victim.
“However the order does not apply to Pulemau Sione,” Justice Tafaoimalo.
Sione was represented by Afamasaga Michael So’onalole while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General, Rexona Titi.
Sione, 67, faced one count of rape against his his sister’s daughter who was 17 years old at the time.
The victim took the stand and informed the jury members that on 22 October 2017 she was asleep with her two younger siblings when Sione entered her bedroom and woke her up.
“I was awoken when I felt someone on top of me, and when I woke up that’s when I saw my uncle and immediately asked him what is he doing but he said to be quiet or he would kill me and chase my family out of this house.
“He then placed his hands around my neck and told me not to tell anyone and not to make a sound. I tried pushing him off but he overpowered me and held me down, and he raped me.”
The Assessors also heard from the victim that her mother was attending bingo on the night in question and efforts to get in contact with her were unsuccessful.
“I called my mom five times and she did not answer her phone,” said the victim while holding back her tears. The victim then called her two sisters and no one answered and that’s when she logged into her facebook page and messaged her auntie overseas.
“When he was finished he threatened to kill me if I told anyone and also threatened to chase us out of the house, because he was the one built the house that we live.”
The victim also informed the court that her mother was out to bingo on the night question.
The Assessors also heard that Sione who lives in New Zealand is the eldest of sibling of his family and has been very supportive by sending remittances to his family.
Sione who also testified vehemently denied the rape allegations.
“Nothing happened, I was about to go to sleep when I heard her (victim) calling out to me and when I get to the bedroom she was naked and was acting inappropriate. I swore at her and then I left the room and went to sleep,” said Sione.
He then left for American Samoa the next day.
The Assessors however found him guilty of rape and Judge Tafaoimalo then ordered to place the defendant into the custody for sentencing on 8 June, 2018.