Girl recalls deception, lies and being raped

A 10-year-old girl raped in a banana patch back in 2014 was lured by a stranger who told her that her mother had sent him to pick her up from school.

What’s more, after the man had allegedly raped her, he wouldn’t leave until after the frightened Year 5 student gave him $5 and a pack of biscuits. 

This is what the alleged victim, who was a student at St. Therese Primary School at Lepea, told the Supreme Court when she gave evidence through a video feed this week. 

The girl’s identity is suppressed. 

The defendant is Isaia Liuafi, of Leauva’a and Talimatau who is facing four charges including one count of rape and three counts of sexual connection with a girl under the age of 12. He has denied all the charges.

Presiding in the matter is Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala–Warren. The prosecutor is Lucy Sio, of the Attorney General’s Office while the defense lawyer is Alex Su’a.

The alleged incident occurred on 8 May 2014. The defendant was 20-years-old at the time.

“School finished at around 2pm so me and two of my friends came and sat at the front of the chapel which is just before the school on the same compound,” the young girl told the Court.

“My friends then left and I then walked to the shop next to the school compound. When I walked out of the shop, this guy approached me and told me that my mother was waiting for me and that he was sent to pick me up.”

The girl said the man held her hand and walked her along the main road.

“I can’t remember how far we walked but when we got to one of the roads going to the back, we turned in that road and we kept walking until we got to an abandoned house.

“He told me to go inside the house but I refused. He then held my hand and we turned around and walked back until we got to a banana patch (togafa’i).

“He told me to go inside the banana patch but I told him no. He held my hand and took me inside the banana patch.”

There, she told the Court the defendant allegedly sexually violated her before he proceeded to rape her.

She said she was in a lot of pain. The alleged victim said when the defendant was done; he put on his clothes and he just stood there.

He wouldn’t leave. 

Afraid, the girl decided to give him $5 and a packet of biscuits in a bid to make him leave.

 “When he left, I walked back crying,” she said. 

“It was there that I met a woman and I asked her if she knows the guy that is walking along the road.

“The woman said no and then she asked me what happened and that’s when I told her about what happened.”

The woman took the girl to her house and later took her home to her parents. 

 “When I got home my cousin carried me in the shower and when she took off my clothes, I saw that I was bleeding. My neck had bruises as well.”

A medical report prepared by Dr. Cecillia Vaai – Bartley on the 9th May, 2014 stated that the victim had enormously extensive internal laceration.

The defendant disputed the version of events. The Court heard that he was on probation when the incident occurred. He has been sentenced to perform community service. 

During cross-examination, Su’a told the Court that his client went straight to his home at Talaimatau when he came back from his probation duties that day.

He refuted the girl’s evidence, casting doubt on her ability to recall what had actually happened and who was responsible for it.

“The incident occurred in 2014 maybe you forgot about most of the details in regards to the incident,” said Mr. Su’a.

“Isn’t it true if I say that perhaps you have forgotten or you are not sure in identifying the attacker? Is it true if I say that you also have forgotten about the clothes that the attacker was wearing and that it wasn’t Isaia?”

But the young girl was certain.

She responded by holding up a page of mug shots that she was given.

She pointed to the picture of the defendant and said: “No this is him.”

“I remember he was wearing a short and a blue t-shirt with a ie lavalava and he looked dirty.”

The hearing continues.

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