Young man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for rape of 12-year-old cousin
The courts will continue to take a tough stance on offenders who rape children. They will do so by imposing long prison sentences to denounce the crime and to give effect to the principles of deterrence for others.
Judge Justice Daniel Goundar made the statement at the High Court in Labasa while sentencing an 18-year-old man who raped his 12-year-old cousin in Bua in 2015.
The offender who is now 21 and married with one child was told that the rape of a child warranted a severe punishment to mark the community’s outrage against such crimes.
The court heard that the offender lured the victim inside his house next to her farmhouse after exposing his private parts to her when she went to wash the dishes at a tap outside his house.
When she entered the house, he performed oral sex on her and then they had sex. She did not report the incident to anyone until nine months later when she confided in her school teacher about what her cousin had done to her.
Justice Goundar said that as an adult male relative, the accused breached the victim and her family’s trust.
The aggravating factors are that the sexual abuse had a psychological toll on the victim.
He further stated that the victim was vulnerable due to her young age and her socio-economic background. She came from a rural community with little support to report sexual abuse due to cultural constraints, he said.
After taking all these factors into account, the man was sentenced to 10 years and nine months. Justice Goundar said due to the offender’s youth at the time of the offence and his previous good character, the prospect of rehabilitation is high.