Man cleared of rape on S.R.U. premises
Daniel Iuogafa is a free man. It follows a decision by Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa dismiss both charges of rape and indecent assault against him yesterday.
The former referee of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) had maintained his innocence in relation to the allegations against him.
The man from Vaovai, Falealili and Vaimea was accused of raping an overseas-based woman.
He was represented by lawyer, Aumua Ming Leung Wai. The Prosecutor was Fatumanavaupolu Ofisa Tagaloa of the Attorney General’s Office.
A suppression order was issued by Justice Mata to safeguard the woman’s details and identity.
During the trial, the defendant gave his version of what happened 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,” he said.
“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.
Iuogafa insisted that the complainant was awake and fully agreed to what they did.
Prosecution also called the alleged victim and her boyfriend.
However, she told the Court she could not recall what occurred on the night in question.