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Man convicted of sexual assault

Aqela Susu
Thursday, November 30, 2017

A MAN who was alleged to have raped his four-year-old adopted daughter walked out of the High Court in Suva yesterday a bit relieved.

This was after the High Court judge, Justice Riyaz Hamza, found him not guilty of two counts of rape but found him guilty of the lesser offence of sexual assault for the second count.

The 33-year-old man was acquitted of both rape charges as a result, but would now be sentenced for the lesser offence of sexual assault after he was convicted of the offence by Justice Hamza yesterday.

The alleged offence took place in March this year. The accused was alleged to have raped his stepdaughter in their Pacific Harbour home in Navua. Justice Hamza had earlier said the accused had denied committing the acts but revealed that he had been in a sexual relationship with the complainant's mother.

The accused had also said in his evidence that the allegations were a conspiracy against him.

In his judgment, Justice Hamza agreed with the unanimous opinions for finding the accused not guilty to the first count of rape but guilty of sexual assault.

He also agreed with the unanimous not guilty opinions of the assessors for the second count but overturned their opinions for the lesser offence of sexual assault and convicted the accused of the offence accordingly.

Justice Hamza said the prosecution had failed to prove the two rape charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The man has been further remanded.

He will reappear in court next Thursday for the sentencing hearing.

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