Church man denies sex charge

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Court House Mulinuu

Court House Mulinuu

An official of a local church has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted sexual violation in a case involving a nine-year-old girl.

Niuti Tuitamalii Auvae, who is a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Faith, issued the plea when he appeared before the Chief Justice, His Honour, Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, last week.

Auvae was represented by lawyer, Tuisa Tasi Patea.

Prosecuting the case was Fuifui Ioane of the Attorney General’s office.

 “Niuti Auvae, the Court has noted down your not guilty plea through your lawyer,” said His Honour Patu.

“He has also requested some changes on your bail condition to allow you to reside at your family at Salelologa, Savai’i.

“The prosecution does not object to these changes so therefore the application has been granted.

“You are to reside at your family at Salelologa unless the Court says otherwise and you must sign at the Tuasivi Police Station every Fridays before 12 noon.

“And also this is important, because the victim stays in Palauli you are not allowed to go to Palauli or contact the victim.

“That is the price to pay for your bail so if you do not obey these conditions then the police will bring you back here.”

The matter has been set for hearing on the week commencing 27th November, 2017.

The alleged incident happened when the victim was walking home from school.

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