Children make up majority of victims of sexual crimes

Sixty-eight per cent of victims of serious sexual offences including rape filed in the high courts of Fiji last month were aged under 18 years, consistent with recent trends that show children make up majority of victims.

Since July this year minors made up between 57 and 100 per cent of victims with the youngest a four-year-old girl recorded in October, making her the youngest victim of sexual crimes formally filed this year.

The four-year-old was said to have been raped by her 58-year-old grandfather. Two other victims, both seven years of age were suspected of being raped and sexually assaulted by their 68-year-old grandfather.

The incidents are among nine cases where the accused is related to the victim, one such case involving a 54-year-old man who was charged with the rape and sexual assault of his 12-year-old step daughter and 10-year-old step niece.

In another incident, a 37-year-old man was charged with the rape of his 17-year-old stepdaughter, however, this matter was discontinued due to insufficient evidence. There were two separate incidents where a 45-year-old man and a 36-year-old man were charged with the rape and sexual assault of their 12-year-old and 26-year-old stepdaughters. A 39-year-old man was charged with the rape of his 11-year-old niece while in another incident, a 22-year-old man was charged with five counts of rape of his 15-year-old cousin.

Of the 25 perpetrators charged in October, three were police officers and three juveniles including two boys aged 12 and 17 charged with representative counts of rape of a five-year-old girl who is related to the teenage offender.

A 25-year-old police officer was charged with the rape of a 19-year-old police officer, while in another incident, a 42-year-old police officer was charged with two counts of indecent assault of a 34-year-old police officer. There was one incident where a 45-year-old police officer was charged with abduction with the intent to have carnal knowledge of a 16-year-old girl, however, this matter was withdrawn due to insufficient evidence.

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