Women free to socialise

“WOMEN must have freedom to socialise in nightclubs and their uninhibited manners during such gatherings should not be misunderstood as being an invitation to engage in sexual activity.”

This was the message from High Court judge Justice Aruna Aluthge while sentencing a Sigatoka man, Aminio Vukicigau, to six years and nine months for raping his cousin on October 15, 2014.

The victim had been part of a drinking party with the accused and a few others before they went to a nightclub.

It was around this time that the accused pulled and forced the victim into a van where he had sexual intercourse with her. The court was told the victim had tried her best to stop the accused, but she could not.

The victim is believed to have screamed and hit the side of the van but no one came to assist her.

The victim relayed the incident to her uncle before reporting it to police.

While delivering the sentence, Justice Aluthge said the accused had taken advantage of the victim, who was in a vulnerable state while inebriated.

Justice Aluthge said the offence was committed in degrading and humiliating circumstances when the accused stripped the victim naked in a van parked in the carpark of a nightclub and made her come out without proper attire.

He said the accused, 24, hailed from a broken family and listed unemployment and sole family breadwinner as the mitigating factors. A six-year non-parole period has been set. He has 30 days to appeal.

More Stories