Stepdad denies charges in court, seeks bail
A44-year-old labourer of Nausori has pleaded not guilty to sex-related offences in the High Court in Suva. The accused appeared before Justice Daniel Goundar yesterday, facing two representative counts of rape and one representative count of sexual assault.
For the first offence of rape, it is alleged that the accused, between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, at Nausori, had unlawful carnal knowledge of the complainant without her consent.
For the second offence of rape, it is alleged that the accused, on October 22, 2018, at Nausori, had unlawful carnal knowledge of the complainant without her consent.
For the offence of sexual assault, it is alleged that the accused between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, at Nausori, unlawfully
and indecently assaulted the complainant.
The complainant in the matter is the accused’s 15-year-old stepdaughter. She was 14 years old at the time of the alleged offence.
State prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Sheenal Swastika objected to the bail application on the grounds that there was a domestic relationship between the accused and the complainant and there was a high chance of interference.
She told the court that the complainant had dropped out of school because she was not able to cope with her studies because of the alleged offences.
Justice Goundar remanded the accused in custody and adjourned the matter to July 26 for a bail ruling.