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10 years behind bars

Kalesi Mele
Thursday, December 14, 2017

A 37-YEAR-OLD Nadi man was sentenced to 10 years and eleven months in jail by the High Court in Lautoka yesterday for raping his mentally and physically challenged niece on three separate occasions.

The victim was 17 years old at the time of the incident.

In 2014, the perpetrator went to the victim's house when she was alone and asked for a dari or tanoa to mix yaqona.

When the victim tried to get the bowl from underneath the bed, he closed the door, undressed the victim and raped her.

This was the first instance.

The same year the victim visited the perpetrator's house to visit his sisters, who were her good friends.

When she entered the house to have a drink of water, her uncle raped her again.

The third incident occurred when the victim and the accused were attending a funeral.

Justice Aruna Aluthge said society could not condone any form of sexual assault on children.

"The victim is a mentally challenged person and the courts and society must ensure that disabled persons are specifically protected," he said.

"Not only the offender himself, but potential offenders must be deterred.

"The sentence must be a clear message to society."

The man will be eligible for parole after serving nine years of his jail term.

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