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Incestuous father strikes again, preys on youngest daughter

A father, who was jailed for an incestuous act on his eldest daughter, has done it again, this time preying on his youngest daughter.  

The man committed the offence after he was released on parole.

Rokesi Ioelu, of Faleasiu, was yesterday sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to three counts of rape against his youngest daughter, last year. 

According to the summary of facts, the 49-year-old father forcibly had sexual intercourse with his 13-year-old biological daughter on three occasions. 

On all three occasions, he covered her face with a sheet, the Court was told. 

“On the second occasion, he threatened to send her to live elsewhere when she refused to go into the bedroom as he had asked.”

The single father of six children was on parole having been imprisoned for incest in relation to his eldest daughter in 2013. 

He had lived with his children and father at Faleasiu where he fishes and cultivates his plantation. 

The pre-sentence report on the victim, whose name is permanently suppressed, says the 13 year old was no longer in school and had lived with the accused. 

She now lives with her mother’s family. 

Ioelu has now been recalled to serve the remainder of his imprisonment term which ends in October 2020 for his previous conviction in relation to his eldest daughter. 

In handing down the verdict, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala – Warren said the actions of the father was a gross breach of trust. 

“He committed the offence in a family environment where she is entitled to grow up safe and protected by her father from this sort of behaviour,” she said. 

“This close familial relationship is a significant aggravating factor. 

“I am hard pressed to find a closer familial relationship than that of parent and child.”

Justice Tafaoimalo also touched on the fact that the accused not only breached his legal duties as father he also violated a covenant or va tapuia between a parent and child. 

“The accused has violated this covenant of trust and respect between him and his daughter,” she added. 

The Supreme Court Judge noted it was clear the offending being committed on three separate occasions was premeditated. 

“He actively sought opportunities to be alone with her,” said Justice Tafaoimalo.

“The victim was particularly vulnerable by reason not only of her age but also by reason of the relationship she had to the accused. 

“He was the head of the family with authority over all family members.”

The Court also considered the extent of the harm to the victim. 

“No doubt she is confused and traumatized by her father’s actions,” said the Judge. 

She pointed out despite the high sentences of imprisonment imposed by the Courts for rape, it would seem like its prevalence has not been altered significantly. 

Therefore the Court must continue to impose  high sentences of imprisonment as deterrence for this offending until such time that we see a noticeable reduction in sexual offending in our community and in particular, within our families, she said.  

“This is yet another case which highlights the prevalence of sexual offending in our community and sadly within families. 

“Today the Court will impose a sentence which denounces and deters this type of offending, and provides for the interests of the victim of this offending.”

Furthermore, Justice Tafaoimalo said the rape of a child by a parent violates every standard of decency in our society. 

“It cannot and should not be tolerated.”

In handing down sentence for Ioelu, Justice Tafaoimalo placed the starting point at 25 years imprisonment and uplift of one year for his previous conviction. 

The Supreme Court Judge deducted 10 months for reconciliation and 20 percent for the accused’s belated guilty plea. 

Ioelu was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on three counts of rape. 

The sentence should commence after the end of his current imprisonment term. 

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