HIGH Court judge Justice Salesi Temo yesterday sentenced a man to 14 years after he was found guilty on one count of rape.
While sentencing the 24-year-old man, he said the rape of a child was a serious offence.
The court ordered that the man only be eligible for parole after serving 13 years.
In a packed courtroom, Justice Temo reiterated the message of children being the future of this country.
"Those who violate them sexually must expect severe prison sentence to atone for their misdeeds," he said.
The court heard that on March 16 this year, the man carried the nine-year-old girl while she was sleeping to a bush where he committed the offence.
This occurred on an island.
"The courts have repeatedly said before, and will say again that, the rape of a child is very serious offence.
"And it treats this type of offence seriously."
The court heard that the man had been staying with the complainant's family for four years.
It heard that although they were not blood related, the complainant's father had taken him and the man called the complainant's parents mum and dad.
"Little did the complainant's family know that the person they thought was a son was planning to do the unthinkable by raping the nine-year-old complainant.
"This was certainly a serious breach of trust.
"The courts have repeatedly condemned the rape of children."