Step­dad denies charges in court, seeks bail

Fiji Sun - - Nation - ASHNA KU­MAR Edited by Epineri Vula Feed­back: ashna.ku­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

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.

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