A MAN has been jailed for eight years by the High Court in Labasa for raping a 12-year old girl early this year.
The man was found guilty and jailed by Justice Daniel Goundar yesterday.
The victim was returning home after watching a movie at her grandfather's house on the evening of February 3 when the man lured her into an empty boat on the seashore where he raped her.
The victim later relayed the incident to her parents who informed the police.
In sentencing, Justice Goundar considered the man's early confession to the police and guilty plea as evidence of remorse for his offence.
"You had an untarnished character until you committed this crime and all these factors mitigate your offence," Justice Goundar said.
"I accept the offence was committed without threats or use of violence but I cannot lose sight of the fact that the victim was of a very tender age.
"You were an adult and the age gap between you and the victim and the fact that you were a fellow villager must have intimidated her to surrender to your sexual advances.
"These factors aggravated the offence and no evidence of victim trauma has been led by the State.
"Therefore, I cannot assess the long term effect of rape on the victim at this stage."
Justice Goundar sentenced the man to eight years with a non-parole period of six years.