Defendant denies rape allegation
A former referee of the Samoa Rugby Union has denied allegations of rape put forward against him in Court.
Daniel Iuogafa, of Vaovai, Falealili and Vaimea, who is accused of allegedly raping an overseas-based woman, took the stand on Thursday morning.
Presiding over the matter was Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa.
Prosecution was Fatumanavaupolu Ofisa Tagaloa of the Attorney General’s Office while the defendant was represented by Aumua Ming Leung Wai.
A suppression order was issued by Justice Mata to safeguard the woman’s details and identity.
“On the night in question, Friday, 10th Feb, 2017, I was with some of my colleagues from the Samoa Commercial Bank at Tuanaimato for the ‘Fight for Marist’,” Iuogafa told the court.
“At that time I was an employee of the Samoa Commercial Bank as well as a referee for the Samoa Rugby Union during local games."
“About 8pm on that night, Tupu Latu (witness for the prosecution), called and asked me if I could assist him with his fight because his teacher, Salesa Seiuli (another witness), was not available, I told Tupu OK."
“After the event that night, we went and dropped off the security guard who was on duty at S.R.U. that night. Then Tupu asked if we could go meet Salesa at Club X because he wanted to shout us beer because Tupu had won."
“We went and I met Salesa, he bought me and Tupu one bottle each, I also met Hugh Sloppen (victim’s boyfriend) that night."
“When Club X closed we came with Tupu and Salesa bought some beers at Togafuafua and then we came to Fia’s Shop at Vaitele and bought barbeques and then we went to S.R.U."
“When we got to S.R.U, Salesa told the security guard who we were and so the security guard allowed us inside."
“Not long after Hugh came, Salesa offered him a beer but he was looking for his wallet and he came back outside and entered the two-storey building next to the main office of the S.R.U."
“Not long after, Tupu said that he was going to lie down because he had a headache from the fight that night and he walked to the building that Hugh went to.”
Iuogafa said around 3.30am he told Salesa that he was going home.
“At that time Salesa told me to drop off Tupu as well because they had to go to Savaii the next day with some of the S.R.U’s officials,” said Iuogafa.
“I then walked to the house that Tupu went into and in this building, the gym is downstairs and the rooms are upstairs."
“I knocked in all the rooms on the top floor but nobody answered so I came back down."
“As I was walking down the stairs I heard a voice of a female asking me where I was going."
“I turned around and told the person that I was looking for Tupu and at that time I saw this girl wearing only her underwear and her bra."
“We exchanged questions and then I walked up to her and kissed her."
“She took me inside her bedroom and I saw that there were two beds in the room and someone was sleeping on the other bed.”
Iuogafa told the court that he asked the girl about the person sleeping on the other bed.
“She told me not to worry it’s her friend,” said Iuogafa.
“We went on the bed started kissing each other and then we had sexual intercourse."
“When we finished, the person who was sleeping on the other bed woke up and started screaming and running to one corner."
“That’s when I stood up gathered my clothes and ran outside because I thought this person was getting something to attack me with."
“I came and jumped on the passenger’s side of my car and sat there and that’s when I saw Hugh running outside and that’s when I saw Tupu."
“Hugh then confronted Tupu but I got out of the car and told Hugh that it was me and I apologized to him and told him that I didn’t know it was his girlfriend and that it was her who opened the door to me."
“Hugh got angry and told me to take my girlfriend and get out of the compound. He then ripped off the number plate of my car and that’s when Salesa told me to leave the compound.”
Iuofaga told the court that he had a love bite on the top left side of his chest from the complainant.
“On Sunday afternoon I got a call from my boss that the police were looking for me so I got in the car and drove straight to the police station in Apia,” he said.
“They took my statement and I was held in custody on that day.”
During cross examination, Fatumanavaupolu put it to the defendant that during the complainant’s boyfriend’s testimony he told the court that when he woke up he saw him on top of the complainant.
“Hugh told the court that he saw the complainant was not moving she was unconscious and she had a top and a skirt on and not a bra and underwear."
“The victim also took the stand and told the court that she was unconscious and she also confirmed wearing a skirt and a top.”
Iuogafa insisted that the complainant had only her underwear and bra on.
“In your statement to the police you only mentioned your actions towards the complainant while you were in their both, but it seems that the complainant never did anything to you while you were both getting intimate."
“Isn’t it true if I say that the reason she didn’t do anything to you was because she was unconscious and she didn’t know what was happening to her until her boyfriend woke up and saw you on top of her.”
Iuogafa still insisted that the complainant was awake and fully agreed to what they were doing.
He also told the court that it was the complainant who had let him into her bedroom. The matter is set for sentencing on the 27th November.