Granduncle guilty of raping niece

A 60-year-old granduncle was yesterday convicted for raping his 13-year-old niece following an Assessors’ trial.

Ioane Peni of Apolima is charged with seven sexual related charges. 

Ioane was found guilty of two rape charges, with the remaining charges to be decided by Court. 

Prosecuting the case was Ofisa Tagaloa of the Attorney General’s Office, Tasi Patea represented the defendant and Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala presided over the matter. 

Justice Tafaoimalo issued a suppression order on the victim, including her details. 

The order was not leveled against the granduncle. 

The Court heard from the victim, who is now 15 years old, that between August and September 2016, she accompanied her granduncle to fetch coconuts with her younger brothers. 

The Court heard that the defendant would send off the little brother to collect the coconut and he would tell the victim to remain with him. 

“He took me further inland and he would cut leaves and place them on the ground.” 

“Afterwards he took off my clothes and that’s when the sexual violation occurred and he told me not to tell anyone,” the victim said.

Assessors and the Court heard firsthand the third rape occurred in the bushes. 

The victim alleges the fourth incident occurred in their home where the defendant lives with the victim and her family. 

According to the victim, the second rape incident prompted her to tell her mother and that’s when the matter was officially reported to the Police. 

Ioane is scheduled to be sentenced on 16 February, 2018. 

Justice Tafaoimalo ordered the defendant to be remanded back into custody and also ordered that he appears on the sentencing date.

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