A 53-year-old-man who impregnated his friend’s 14-year-old daughter has been sentenced to jail.
Lupematasila Ta’i, a fisherman of Siufaga Falelatai, appeared before Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa to be sentenced on eight counts of sexual connection with a girl who was only 14 years old at the time of the offending.
Justice Tuatagaloa pointed out that according to the summary of facts prepared by the Prosecution; the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim on six occasions.
“The Court notes that these two week days were on the 01st and 02nd of June which are public holidays for independence celebrations.
“In the pre-sentence report (P.S.R.), you told the probation officer that you go fishing with the victim’s father almost every Sunday and on these occasions you would meet the victim and have sexual intercourse.
“You also in the same report said that on one occasion the victim told you to come on a Wednesday which you did.
“What you told probation in the P.S.R. confirms what the victim says which is what is in the summary of facts provided by the Prosecution. The summary of facts was read out and you have confirmed it.”
Justice Tuatagaloa noted the defendant is 53 years old, divorced with four children.
“The impression I get from reading the pre-sentence report is that you and the victim’s father are friends, that you go fishing together and you also drink together.
“You may be a good provider for your family as your sister says in the P.S.R. but I disagree with her that you are a good brother who cares for his family.
“You were living with your sisters when the offending took place. If you were truly a good brother who cares for his family, you would not have done what you did.
“The implications or impact of your actions on your family, especially your sisters, is what you should have thought of. You are a matai who should have placed your family first,” said Justice Tuatagaloa.
“Your behaviour in these offending is predatorial.
“You are 38 years older than the victim who was 14 years old at the time.
“You used your relationship with the victim’s father to gain access to the victim’s family and to the victim.”
Justice Tuatagaloa pointed out the sexual offending did not happen once or twice but eight times and they were mostly, if not all, pre-meditated.
“The bigger the age difference between the offender and the victim, the more vulnerable the victim is and the higher the culpability of the offender.
“As a result of the sexual offending, the young victim got pregnant and has since had the baby who is now four months old.
“This young victim has now become a mother at such a young age. She no longer attends school.
“Any dreams or hopes she may have had of completing her education that would greatly contribute to her prospects of getting a good job and becoming someone have been crushed.
“The reality is her life has been ruined and the only life she is faced with now at such a young age is that of being a mother to her child and to become someone’s wife and serve her family and village.”
Justice Tuatagaloa pointed out the accused says in the pre-sentence report that the victim consented to the sexual intercourse.
Justice Tuatagaloa sentenced Lupematasila to three years and two months for each sexual offending to be served concurrently.
“The time you have been in custody after serving your four months imprisonment for possession of narcotics to await sentencing for this offending is to be deducted.”