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Grandfathers, fathers bring incest docket to four

In the midst of a reported surge in sex crimes, it can be revealed that four cases of alleged incestuous sex crimes, some perpetrated over several years - two involving grandfathers and two fathers - are concurrently before the Courts.

Two grandfathers, separately charged with perpetrating incestuous acts upon their granddaughters, will answer their charges next Monday.

The men's cases will come as two other fathers are expected to face charges of perpetrating crimes of a similar sexual nature on their daughters. 

Lawyer Alex Su’a represented the elderly men, whose names have been suppressed to protect the identity of their alleged victims. 

When the two cases were called before the Supreme Court, Mr. Su’a asked for a week adjournment so he can obtain instructions on his clients’ pleas. 

Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala–Warren presided over the matter. 

One of the defendants, a 75-year-old is facing five counts of incest and sexual violation charges against his granddaughter relating to acts that took place in September this year. 

His lawyer had asked to amend the bail conditions to allow for the 75-year-old to reside with his family in a rural village and sign in at the Faleata Police post.

But Justice Tafaoimalo instead ordered that the 75-year-old report to Afega Police office, in consideration of the fact that the alleged victim is under the care of Samoa Victim Support Group at Faleata. 

On the second grandfather from Savai’i, who is charged for allegations of incest on his granddaughter, Mr. Su’a said he had only recently been assigned to represent his client. 

“There are several charges against him and I need a week’s adjournment so I can go through the charges with him,” he said. 

The grandfathers are remanded on bail until their next appearance. 

Meanwhile, two fathers have appeared in Court on unrelated matters also involving incest charges. 

The men received an automatic name suppression to protect the identities of the alleged underage victims of their offending – their daughters. 

One of the accused father is now facing a total of 79 charges of incest and rape over a period dating back to 2013. 

The father had again asked the Court to release him on bail, this time so he could find a job to pay for a lawyer. 

He has been in custody for over a month. 

The prosecutor and Attorney General lawyer, Fuifui Ioane, opposed bail for the defendant due to concerns about the alleged victim in the matter. 

Justice Tafaoimalo told the defendant that his application for legal aid has been granted and he does not have to pay for a lawyer. 

She also ordered that a legal advocate, Afamasaga Michael Soonalole, be assigned to the defendant. 

In addition, she told the father that he can remain in custody until his lawyer appears with him on Monday. 

The second father in a separate matter was represented by Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale. 

The accused father is facing four charges of rape, incest and carnal knowledge with a young person. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The alleged victim in the offending passed away earlier this year at the age of 18. 

It is alleged that the offending on the deceased girl dates back to 2013 when she was 12 years old. 

The matter was called to set a hearing date for a motion to oppose hearsay evidence from the deceased girl against her biological father. 

Justice Tafaoimalo adjourned the matter to December 13 for a hearing on the preliminary matter.  

According to the Police's 2018 Financial Year Annual Report, the number of sexual offences have increased dramatically.

In the report, four indecent assault cases were reported in 2016/2017; but last year that number reached 43.

Cases for the crime of sexual violation over the same period rose more than four times to reach 57. 

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