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Jail for sex with student

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A FORMER schoolteacher has been jailed for two years for having sex with a student.

The High Court in Suva told the man it did not matter if the girl had made advances towards him first.

He was initially charged with rape and was acquitted after a trial, however, the assessors found him guilty on a charge of defilement and the court convicted him accordingly.

Justice Paul Madigan said it was easy for a 15-year-old girl to develop a crush on a young teacher and go to any level to ensure she'd get the object of her desire.

The incident happened three weeks into school in 2011, also three weeks into the perpetrator's first teaching job.

According to the facts presented to the court, on March 13, 2011, the girl and a friend went to the teacher's quarters to ask for noodles. He allowed the girls into his quarters and later he and the girl had sex.

"The law was enacted to protect girls from themselves and this protection must be seen to be no stronger than at school. If a girl cannot be safe sexually at school, then that is a sad indictment on our society," said Justice Madigan.

"Teachers all over Fiji must be reminded that they are in a position of trust and apart from educating their charges, they should set a moral example as a basis for healthy community existence.

"Being a new teacher is no excuse. The accused is well educated and cannot be said to have been unaware of his moral responsibilities to his female students.

"The serious breach of trust precludes me from suspending the sentence."

Justice Madigan sentenced the man to two years. He becomes eligible for parole after serving 18 months.

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