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Man found guilty of raping six-year-old girl

A 20-year-old man has been found guilty by a group of Assessors of raping a six-year-old girl, whose identity has been suppressed by the Supreme Court.

The Court however did not extend the suppression order to the defendant, whom we can identify as Tamapa’a Si’ueva.

The rape occurred in March 2017 at Utuali’i.

The Assessor’s trial lasted two days. Lucymaria Sio-Ofoia was prosecuting for the Attorney General’s Office while Alex Su’a represented Si’ueva.

Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren presided.

The mother of the victim was the first witness to be called to the stand.

She was emotional when she gave evidence, describing what had happened.

“The day when the incident happened was the first time my daughter was home (alone) after school. Usually she stays at my sister’s house after school and then someone would drop her off at home,” she said.

“Our house is further inland and is quite far from my sister’s house. It wasn’t until I showered my daughter and she complained about pain on her private parts.”

The mother said the incident occurred when her daughter was six years old and was in first grade.

The victim – who is now eight-years-old - also took the stand .

She told the Court what happened.

“After watching rugby I walked home when I met Pa’a (defendant) who followed me and asked that we go get his money,” she said.

“I followed Pa’a and he told me to remove my clothes and I did, he then left with my clothes and returned empty handed.

“I don’t know where he placed my clothes. I was lying there naked.”

The young girl then told of the sexual acts the defendant did to her.

“I cried and told him to stop,” she said, “but he put his hands over my mouth.”

The prosecution asked the victim whether she knew the defendant.

“No, I don’t know him,” she said. “But he did tell me his name after what happened and told me when he left.”

During cross-examination, Su’a questioned the victim on the differences between her testimony and her statement to the police.

The victim was adamant that she wore a dress, not her school uniform as indicated in the police report.

“I put it to you that when the police came to the scene, it was your mother who pointed into the bushes where the incident happened and not you,” said Su’a.

But the eight year old said no.

“No, it was me,” said the victim.

Su’a put it to the victim that nothing happened between her and the defendant.

But she was adamant.

“Something happened,” she said.

The Assessors found the defendant guilty of rape.

Justice Tafaoimalo has scheduled the sentencing for 26 August 2019.

The defendant remains in Police custody.

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