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Fiji Time: 6:28 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Priest held over rape bid claim

Samuela Loanakadavu
Friday, July 16, 2010

A 37-YEAR-OLD church minister on Kadavu will appear in the Magistrates Court in Suva this afternoon over allegations involving attempted rape.

Detective Sergeant Josua Daveta from the Vunisea Police Station confirmed yesterday that the Methodist Church appointee was being charged with assault with intent to commit rape under the Crimes Decree 2009.

Sgt Daveta said the offence allegedly occurred on Wednesday night last week. The Nadi man had been working as a catechist in the village for the last seven months.

The matter was reported to police the next day, who took him into custody for security reasons.

It was alleged that the man threatened his wife's younger sister after his wife left for Suva.

The man was alleged to have pulled the 23-year-old victim from her bed in the middle of the night, stripped her and punched her several times in the process.

Sgt Daveta escorted the accused from the Vunisea government station to Suva on board the Sinu-i-wasa last Wednesday night. The man is now in custody at the Central Police Station.

The general secretary of the Methodist Church Reverend Tevita Nawadra was shocked when he was asked to comment. Mr Nawadra said he was not aware of the case and would only comment once he was being briefed by the senior superintendent in Kadavu.