Man jailed for sexual relationship with relative

A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to 4 months in jail for the offence of a sexual connection with a 14-year-old relative. 

In the Supreme Court this week, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala – Warren handed down the decision on Iese Siaosi of Lepa and Vaitele- for offences dating back to July, 2019. 

The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual connection with his second cousin who is a 14-year-old girl. 

Siaosi has been banished from his village of Lepa following the incident. 

The Court heard that the sexual connection and relationship between the accused and the underage victim was consensual. 

A pre-sentence report stated that the father of the accused remains supportive of his son. 

He was described as a “popular, obedient, respectful and hardworking” person. 

The father also said that the families have reconciled and a village penalty of 10 boxes of tin fish was paid. 

Justice Tafaoimalo said an aggravating factor in his sentencing considerations for the case was that the victim was only 14 years old and there is an age gap of 19 years between the accused and victim. 

“It is also aggravating that the victim is related to the accused, being his much younger cousin,” she said.

“He breached the trust of the victim and her parents who were away for medical treatment".

Prosecutor and Attorney General’s Office lawyer Ann Matalasi sought 15 months’ imprisonment as the starting point for Siaosi’s sentence. 

Justice Tafaoimalo made it clear custodial sentence is appropriate for the accused’s case.  

“This is a deterrent sentence to mature men who consider that it is acceptable to enter into sexual relations with young girls under the age of 16 years,” she said. 

“Girls this young have not acquired the maturity to be able to make rational decisions in relation to their sexuality. 

“Mature men should not take advantage of this.” 

 Justice Tafaoimalo deducted time for Siaosi’s village penalty, reconciliation with the family, good character and early guilty plea. 

She also considered his remorse and deducted time on the grounds of compassion leaving the accused with 4 months to serve. 

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