16 September 2019 Apia Samoa. A 43 year old man was sentenced to 7 years and 9 months in the Supreme Court of Samoa last week for raping a 10 year old girl in March last year.
Name suppression orders were issued for the young victim as well as the perpetrator in order to further protect her identity because of their close relationship.
The Court heard that in March last year, the man and his wife asked permission of the victim’s parents, if she could come and do homework with their children.
After the home work session the 43 year old father of five asked the children to come out and help gather coconuts in the backyard.
While the victim stood under a coconut tree, the man lured her away from the others and raped her. When he was done he gave the victim $5 tala and told her not to tell anybody.
The second time the victim was raped, the Court heard that the accused picked up the victim and drove her to an isolated plantation patch. He again raped her and gave her $5 tala. The third time the defendent took the victim and raped her, she was given $3 tala at the completion of the act.
The defendant faced 7 charges of sexual connection under S58(1) of the Crimes Act. He entered a late guilty plea to all charges. The maximum penalty for rape of a child under 12 years is life imprisonment.
Police prosecution requested a starting point of 12 years accepted by Justice Leiataualesa who stressed the seriousness of the offending and outlined the mitigating factors as:
1. The seriousness of the offending on the young victim.
2. The age difference with the defendant being 43 and his victim only 10 years old.
3. The defendant raped the victim three times.
4. The breach of trust placed on the defendant by the victims parents as well as the victim.
Deductions of 9 months were made for character references submitted, one year for showing remorse, one year for the penalty imposed by the village where the perpetrator was banished for 18 months. There were further deductions for pleading guilty hence not taking the victim through a trial.
The defendant was also handed down sentences for related charges to be served concurrently.
If you or someone you know is being sexually violated, please call the Police on Ph 22222 or the Samoa Victim Support Group on 757-6600 or 757-6601.