A 25-year-old defendant accused of three counts of having sexual connection with a young person has been given a non-custodial penalty.
The victim was a 14-year-old girl and according to police summary the two were in a relationship.
The victim was caring for her grandmother who was admitted at the Leulumoega Hospital on the 31st July 2016 when the victim started texting the accused.
She told the accused where she was and how to meet up with him.
The victim’s grandmother took the phone from the victim because she was angry at the victim for talking on the phone all the time.
However, on that day, the phone rang again and the victim knew exactly that the accused was calling and she ran and took the phone from her grandmother and answered it.
The victim planned that the accused will pick her up from the hospital and they go together at the accused house.
On the 1st August 2016, the accused picked up the victim from the hospital and took her to his house where they had a sexual relationship with the victim.
The victim also met the accused parents and she stayed at the accused family until her aunty found out where she was on the 3rd of August 2016.
The victim’s aunty went to the accused family and took her home but instead of taking her home she reported the matter to the police and the accused was arrested the same day.
The accused apologized in court yesterday, and he told the court that he accepted the summary of facts against him.
He also took the chance to ask for the victim’s forgiveness and that he is sorry for what had happened.
In handing down sentencing, Justice Lesatele agreed with the recommendation from the prosecution not to impose a custodial penalty.
But he reminded the accused that with this kind of offending he can be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
“These kind of maters prosecution always ask for a custodial penalty however you and the 14 year old victim were in a sexual relationship before this, and it is no wonder why they didn’t seek a custodial penalty,” said Justice Lesatele.
The defendant was then convicted and sentenced to 18 months of probation and he was also ordered to do 50 hours of community service.