Man ad­mits com­mit­ting sex acts on un­der­age girl

Fiji Sun - - Nation - ASHNA KU­MAR and ILAIJIA RAVUWAI Edited by Caro­line Ratu­cadra Feed­back: ashna.ku­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

A26-year-old man fac­ing sex­ual of­fence charges has pleaded guilty to the charges on his own free will. Manasa Rat­u­loaloa ap­peared be­fore Jus­tice Thushara Ra­jas­inghe at the High Court in Suva on Thurs­day for a plea.

This was af­ter an ap­pli­ca­tion made by de­fence lawyer, Anil Chand, from the Le­gal Aid Com­mis­sion to va­cate Rat­u­loaloa’s ear­lier plea.

Rat­u­loaloa had ear­lier pleaded not guilty to the charges and the mat­ter was set for trial to start next Tues­day. How­ever, Mr Chand in court made the ap­pli­ca­tion for the ear­lier plea to be va­cated as Rat­u­loaloa had in­di­cated that he wanted to take a pro­gres­sive ap­proach to the charges.

Charges

Rat­u­loaloa is charged with one count each of rape, sex­ual as­sault and ab­duc­tion of a young per­son. He pleaded guilty to the charges yes­ter­day.

For the of­fence of rape, it is al­leged that on Jan­uary 25, 2018, at Lak­ena, Nau­sori, Rat­u­loaloa per­formed a sex­ual act on the com­plainant, a child un­der the age of 13 years, with his fin­ger.

For the of­fence of sex­ual as­sault, it is al­leged that on Jan­uary 25, 2018, at Lak­ena, Nau­sori, Rat­u­loaloa in­de­cently as­saulted the com­plainant.

For the of­fence of ab­duc­tion of a young per­son, it is al­leged that on Jan­uary 25, 2018, at Lak­ena, Nau­sori, Rat­u­loaloa took the com­plainant, be­ing un­der the age of 18 years, out of the pos­ses­sion and against the will of her grand­mother. Rat­u­loaloa told the court that he was not threatened or forced to plead guilty.

He also told the court that no prom­ises were made to him to plead guilty to the charges and that he un­der­stood the con­se­quences of a guilty plea.

State pros­e­cu­tor Sheenal Swastika sought time to file the sum­mary of facts. Jus­tice Ra­jas­inghe granted them time to pre­pare and file the sum­mary of facts along with the sen­tenc­ing sub­mis­sions and also for the de­fence coun­sel to file mit­i­ga­tion. The case was ad­journed to Au­gust 27 for men­tion.

Rat­u­loaloa was fur­ther re­manded in cus­tody.

Photo: Ashna Ku­mar

Manasa Rat­u­loaloa.

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