Court Shows No Mercy for Father Facing 158 Charges of Rape and Incest

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A father who pleaded not guilty to 79 charges of rape and 79 charges of incest back in December 2019, again appeared before the Supreme Court of Samoa this week to set a new hearing date after failing to appear for an assessor trial in November last year.

The Court heard that the defendant, who was granted bail in late 2019, was taken back into custody after failing to appear for his hearing which had been set for November 2020.

Presiding over criminal mentions in the Supreme Court, Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma ordered a June hearing date for the accused, who has been granted name suppression to protect the identity of his biological daughter.

In Court yesterday, the defendant’s request to be released on bail again to await his court hearing was flatly denied by Justice Roma.

Defense counsel Afamasaga Michael Soonalole was told to file for a bail application to be separately considered by the Courts next week.

In his original bail application, the accused sought bail on compassionate grounds claiming that he is the only caretaker for his wife who has a disability.

“E iai aafiaga tumau o lona soifua.”

At the time, Prosecution vehemently denied bail on the grounds that the accused had other daughters at home.

When this case was first brought before the Supreme Court, lead prosecutor Leone Su’a-Mailo told the Court they had discussed the option of entering a guilty plea to the rape charges, if the charges of incest were lifted.

However defense counsel Afamasaga Michael Soonalole  said his client did consider pleading guilty to rape charges if the incest charges were removed but his instructions were that his client not recall doing some of the things alleged.

“He said that he can’t recall some of the incidents listed in the charges”.

Su’a-Mailo then took the plea bargain off the table and the defendant today faces all 158 charges.

Not a week goes by in the Supreme Court of Samoa without a case where men are being accused of sexually violating young girls.

A case against a 44 year old man who was initially charged with 35 counts of rape adjourned without a plea to allow Counsel time to obtain full instructions.  Prosrcution have now finalised the charges and the 44 year old now faces 23 charges of rape and sexual violations.

Name suppression was ordered by the Court for this defendant because the victim is also a dependent family member.


Marieta H Ilalio