Step-fa­ther De­nies Sex Charges Over Girl, 11

Fiji Sun - - Parliament - Feed­back: jes­sica.gounder@fi­

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

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