Step-father Denies Sex Charges Over Girl, 11
Astep-father yesterday denied raping and indecently assaulting his 11-year-old step-daughter. The 55-year-old man faces one count of rape and two counts of indecent assault. He appeared before Justice Achala Wengappulli at the High Court in Suva. The alleged incident occurred between January 1, 2004 and May 31, 2012. During examination in chief, the defence counsel, Naca Bulisea, asked the accused why he had beaten up the victim on May, 2012. The accused said that the mother of the victim gave him permission to beat her up as the victim was away from home the previous night with a boy and had come home the next morning at 7am. During cross examination, the State lawyer questioned the accused regarding his cautioned interview where he had admitted touching the breast of the victim. The accused told the court that he didn’t remember where he touched the victim but admitted that he did touch her. The court heard that the accused is not legally married to the victim’s mother. The accused told the court that he loved his wife and her kids and was providing for them financially. He said he was supporting the children in paying for their school fees.
In closing submissions, the state counsel told the court that the reason why the matter was reported late was because the victim was underage.
He further stated that the step-father failed to carry out his responsibilities and for the assessors to consider the evidence of reliable witnesses. Mr Bulisea told the court that the prosecution failed to give evidence from a medical report and therefore they failed to prove the alleged incident took place. He said the matter came to light when the victim was pregnant. The case has been adjourned for summing up today. JESSICA GOUNDER