A traditional healer who took advantage of a schoolgirl he had treated has been jailed for 12 months for a charge of sexual connection with a minor.
The name of the 26-year-old is being withheld to protect the identity of the 15-year-old victim, who is a student at one of the local colleges.
The man was convicted and sentenced by Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson yesterday.
During sentencing, Justice Vui said the man’s actions were unacceptable and he deserves to be in jail. He pointed out that laws are in place to protect young females from predators like him who absolutely have no regards for the law and what is decent.
Justice Vui added that a prison penalty was necessary because the man not only took the 15-year-old to a nightclub; he also had sex with her later.
According to the Police summary of facts, the victim’s family knew the accused because he was a traditional healer and is the reason why he knew the young girl.
On the 20th February 2016, the victim was at home alone while her mother went to the bingo. She left her mobile phone at home.
The accused rang the victim’s mother’s phone and spoke with the victim. He asked her that he would come around to pick her up.
The accused picked up the victim and went for a ride before they picked up some of the accused friends around 7pm. They then went to one of the nightclubs.
Later, the defendant dropped off his friends and when he was alone with the girl, that’s when the crime took place. When he was done, he dropped her off at 11pm.
When the mother noticed that her daughter was missing from home, she contacted the Police post at Faleolo and lodged a complaint.
The man was arrested on the same night. During the hearing, the accused did not deny the allegations against him. However, he told the Court that he did not pick up the victim from her house. He said she rang him and asked him to pick her up and he agreed.
The accused apologised to the Court, admitting that what he did was wrong. “I have wasted my time in custody, my work as a traditional healer is needed by my clients,” he said.