A 33-year-old male from Savai’i was convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for rape.
The accused, whose named is withheld to protect the victim, appeared in the Supreme Court before Justice Vui Clarence Nelson. He did not have a lawyer.
Lawyer Fuifui Ioane appeared for the National Prosecution Office.
According to the Police summary of facts, the accused is a co-worker of the victim’s husband.
The defendant was charged with one count of rape and one count of common assault.
According to Justice Vui, the maximum penalty for rape is life imprisonment which reflects the seriousness of the offense.
Justice Vui added that what the accused did is quite clear according to the summary of facts.
That on the 4th April 2016 around 3am to 4am, he waited for the victim’s husband to leave for work before entering the victim’s house.
The victim was asleep and the defendant entered the mosquito net and forced himself on her. She tried to scream however the defendant told her that it was pointless because no one could her.
The victim also tried to call out to her husband but the defendant made her shut up. According to the Probation report, the defendant claims that the victim had consented.
But Justice Vui did not accept it because he already pleaded guilty to the charge of rape. And even if she consented, Justice Vui said she was scared and was not in a position to make a clear decision.
He said the incident occurred at the victim and her husband’s place where she was supposed to feel safe and secured.
Until he invaded their home while she was lost in her sleep.
“The palagi calls this home invasion but Samoa calls it “moetolo”.
Justice Vui said a custodial penalty is necessary to teach the offender a lesson and to warn everyone else.
The Court took 12 years as an appropriate starting point.
A year was deducted because he was banned from his village, and six months for his good character and a clean criminal record. And for his early guilty plea, the Court deducted another two and half years.
In the end, Justice Vui jailed him for eight years.