A 19-year-old boy has been jailed for a year after he was convicted with a sexual conduct charge against a 9-year-old girl.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren.
Lawyer Lucy Sio appeared on behalf of the National Prosecution Office.
Justice Tafaoimalo issued a suppression order to protect the identity of the victim but the order does not cover the defendant.
Identified as Senitima Fa’amasino, the 19-year-old left school when he was 11 years old and he has been staying home, working on the family’s plantation.
He is the eldest of six children and his mother spoke highly of him being a reliable person in doing their chores as well as the plantation.
According to the Police summary of facts, one evening the victim was at home by herself. The accused called her to come outside, and he made her lay down on the grass and took off her clothes.
When the accused saw her father walking towards the house, he got up and pulled up the victim and went home.
On the 18 July 2016 the matter was reported to the Ministry of Police by a schoolteacher.
During sentencing, Fa’amasino was also told the maximum penalty for his behaviour was life imprisonment, to reflect the seriousness of his offending.
But in support of the defendant, his mother confirmed that they have already apologised to the victim’s parents and they have accepted it.
She went on to ask the Court’s leniency for the defendant.