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Court overturns opinion, convicts man

Mere Naleba
Friday, April 18, 2014

HIGH Court judge Justice Janaka Bandara yesterday overturned the not guilty opinion of three assessors and convicted a man charged with six counts of rape.

The man raped his niece on six separate occasions within 10 months in 2011.

The victim had travelled from an island in the Eastern Division for further studies in 2009 and was staying with the accused, his wife and four children.

The victim's sister was also staying with them in Nausori.

The rape incidents only came to light after the victim became pregnant with the child of the accused.

The incidents happened when the victim's aunty was away from home.

According to the facts of the case, in April 2011, while the victim was asleep with her sister and cousins, the accused woke her up and took her to his bedroom where he raped her.

The man threatened the victim not to tell anyone of that first incident. The man raped the young girl on five other occasions in the same year.

In his judgment, Justice Bandara said the court did not accept the accused person's version of the story in which he stated the victim had consented to having sex with him.

"In light of the above, this court is not inclined to accept and believe the version of the accused that Ms E V was a willing participant to the sexual activities that he shared with her," Justice Bandara said.

"The complainant, being around 18 years at the time of the period in issue, could have explored a lot of avenues had she 'wanted to have something' as the accused claimed.

"The assertion of the accused that it was the complainant who initiated the whole episode with her behaviour sounds to be far-fetched from reality."

The man will be sentenced next week.

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