A 21-year-old male Fa’afetai Mafuie was sentenced to eight years and eight months after he was convicted of one count of rape, assault to commit sexual violation and sexual connection with a young person.
The accused appeared before Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren for sentencing
Ofisa Tagaloa appeared on behalf of the National Prosecution Office and the accused was unrepresented.
A suppression order issued by the court to suppress the name of the victim to protect her identify however was not extended to the accused.
According to the police Summary of Facts, Mafuie and the victim are neighbors and on the night of 14 June 2016, the victim’s father returned home from fishing.
He sent his daughter (victim) to take a bag of fish to their neighbours’ freezer.
Returning home, the accused took advantage of her walking alone in the dark, and pulled her into the bush.
She tried to scream but the accused covered her mouth with a towel and sexually assaulted her twice.
The victim heard her father calling out her name but she couldn’t call out to him because she was terrified. After the accused had raped her, she managed to get home where she told her family what had happened.
The matter was reported to the Police immediately.
Mafuie accepted the Summary of Facts and apologised for what he had done to the victim.
“I was not in my right mind that night because I was intoxicated.
I apologise to the victim’s family for my wrong doings,” he said Mafuie.
The accused is the youngest son of seven children and he lives with his parents.
He left school in Year 10 and worked as a mechanic before he took up work as a fisherman on a fishing boat. Because of this incident, he was fired.
According to the Pre-sentencing Report by the Probation Office, the older brother of the accused supported him and said he is a reliable member of their family.
The Report showed that there had been no reconciliation with the victim’s family.
Justice Tafaoimalo said that that illustrated that there was no remorse by the accused over what had happened
“He was intoxicated, but that’s not an excuse,” said Justice Tafaoimalo.
The 12 year old victim is under the care of the Samoa Victim’s Support Group but she told the prosecution that she was terrified because of what happened.
When the accused took her that night, she knew something would happen to her and she was afraid.
“She was crying and felt pain and she felt pain throughout the whole week,” said Justice Tafaoimalo.
“According to the Victim’s Impact Report, she said she saw you in town and she was terrified and she wants you to be locked away.
“She has not forgiven him (the accused).”
Tafaoimalo told the accused that the younger the victim, the greater the need is for protection.
“(Crimes against those who are) under age are regarded as the most serious activity; young people are very vulnerable.”
The accused was also told that his actions were premeditated, because he had been watching pornography videos that night and he took advantage of her being alone in the dark.
Justice Tafaoimalo said that a custodial penalty was considered because of the seriousness of the charges and the vulnerability of the victim on the night of the incident.
In the accused’s favour, the court took his early guilty plea into account as the only mitigating factor because it saved the 12 year old victim reliving the pain she went through on the night of the incident.
Justice Tafaoimalo took 13 years as the starting point for the charge of rape.
She deducted four years and four months for his early guilty plea leaving a balance of 8 years and 8 months for the charge of rape.
For the charges of sexual connection with a young person and assault to commit sexual violation, the accused was sentenced to four years which are to be served concurrently.