Teacher at church school found guilty of raping female student
A Primary School teacher at a church school accused of offering a young female student $3 and $4 amounts to lure her for sex has been found guilty.
The verdict was handed down yesterday by a panel of assessors before Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa.
Fatumanavaupolu Ofisa Tagaloa was the prosecutor while Alex Su’a was the defense lawyer.
Efeso Pati Masina faced two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, to which he pleaded not guilty.
But the panel of assessors convicted Masina of rape. He was also convicted of sexual connection with a girl under 16 years of age.
Masina is set to be sentenced on 24 November 2017.
Last week during the victim’s testimony she told the Court that Masina would give her money and told her to stay after school.
“I remember in July 2016, this was my first day to this Primary School as I was in a different school before,” she told the Court.
“During recess on this day, my friends and I walked to the canteen to buy some food when Mr. Pati called us to come to where he was at the Baptism River (Vai Papatiso).
“We went to him and he gave me $3 to buy some food I said thanks and we went and bought some food.
“At lunch time, my same group of friends and I again walked to the canteen when Pati called us again, we went to him and he again gave me money this time it was $4 to buy some food.”
Masina was her Social Science and Samoan teacher.
“After lunch, we had our last two periods and Mr. Pati told me to wait for him after school.”
She told the Court Masina sexually harassed her.
“He came to me and told me to have sex with him. I said to him no and I even tried to run outside but he caught me and pulled me against the wall.
“When he was done he gave me tissues to wipe my legs and he told me to go and wait for the bus.
“I put on my clothes and walked to where my friends were, they asked me why I was walking strangely but I told them it was nothing.”
Fatumanavaupolu asked the victim if she had agreed to what had happened and she said no.
Masina denied the allegations.
“She (the victim) would come to me and ask me for money so I would give her money because I felt sorry for her and because I am a father,” he told the court.
Alex Su’a put to it to the defendant if it’s true that the victim would gave him taumago as well.
“Yes, she came twice with taumago and the first time I gave her $3 and the second time I gave her $4 and that was it.
“As for the $50 I had never given her that much amount because I’m not stupid to give her that much when I myself have kids and a wife.”
Masina added: “I had never had sex with the victim because first of all I hold a high position in my congregation, secondly I’m a teacher, thirdly I’m a father and lastly I could never have done such a thing at school because there are always kids around.”
He told the Court that the victim was sexually abused by her uncle.
“This is what happened between her and her uncle,” Masina told the court.
“Now she is accusing me of all this but I didn’t do anything wrong to her.”
During cross examination Alex Su’a questioned the victim whether she is mistakenly accusing Masina of what happened with her and her uncle.
The girl said no.
“Yes there was something that happened at home with my uncle but it also happened in school,” she said. “It happened at home and it also happened at school.”