Man pleads guilty to sexual connection

A 38-year-old man has pleaded guilty to sexual connection with a 13-year-old girl at Taumeasina in May last year. 

The defendant, Petunu Kalepo Lemi, appeared before Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson on Monday.

He was initially charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl from Matautu-uta at Taumeasina on 5 May 2019. 

The matter was scheduled for hearing but the defendant – who entered a plea of not guilty – vacated the plea and pleaded guilty. 

The prosecutor and Attorney General office lawyer, Fuifui Ioane, then moved to withdraw the rape charge and proceed with sexual connection, which led to Justice Vui asking the counsel for the basis of the withdrawal of the rape charge.

Ioane told the court that the victim confirmed with the Police that she consented to having sex with Lemi.

Justice Vui has scheduled sentencing for 12 August, 2020 at 10am.

Lawyer, Afamasaga Michael So'onalole, is representing the defendant.

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