Father jailed 25 years for despicable act on daughter
A 39-year-old father from Aleisa and Tanumapua has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for performing an incestuous act against his 14 year old biological daughter.
The father whose name is suppressed to protect the identity of the young victim pleaded guilty to seven charges of rape, incest, indecent assault and sexual connection with a young person.
The offending on the 14-year-old with one incident where her 12-year-old sibling witnessed it took place at home while the mother was selling vegetables infront of a supermarket.
In handing down the verdict last month, Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa called on action from families, leaders of the churches and community to protect young girls.
Justice Tuatagaloa pointed out that Samoa places a lot of emphasis on family, culture and religion.
However the increasing number of sexual violations and abuse against young girls in villages especially within families shows a breakdown in our society, said the Supreme Court Judge.
“It is from our culture that we place importance in the status of our children, our women and overall our aiga (family),” she said.
“It is with a heavy heart that such values are very much being threatened.
“Our community also needs to play a part in advocating against these kinds of crime.”
Furthermore, Justice Tuatagaloa said as the three pillars of society that encompass our existence as Samoans – family, culture and religion, action is needed to protect the vulnerable.
“We need to step beyond the just “knowing” what is right from wrong, and really go that extra mile and action these thoughts, stand up and protect our young – people in families, leaders and members of churches, and the community as a whole – from grassroots level within villages to established organisations,” she said.
“We all need to stop brushing such issues under the carpet but make it known that it is not okay, and also assist with individuals that fall prey to such unfortunate offending through counselling services, et al.
“Because in the long run, if these victims are able to tell their story, it could help another individual facing the same predicament.”
The accused is married and has four children including the victim of his offending.
He attended a church school where he finished his education at Year 12 and went on a 2 year mission for the church.
In the accused’s presentence report his church and wife described the father as a loving man and a devout Christian.
But this was questioned by Justice Tuatagaloa raising concerns over the despicable act from the father on his 14 year old daughter.
“A devout Christian (in my view) would not act so impulsively as the accused did and as a loving husband to his wife and father to his children he would not do such harm as he did to his own child,” she said.
Justice Tuatagaloa adopted the totality approach of the offences committed and sentenced the father to 25 years and six months.