A 44-year-old man from Tailevu has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison by a high court in Suva after being convicted of raping his daughter in late November last year.
The man was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape, which led to his imprisonment for nine years and seven months.
Under the current laws in Fiji, the sentencing range for rape is 7 to 15 years imprisonment, while sexual assault carries a range of 2 to 8 years imprisonment. In determining the final sentence, high court Judge Justice Dr Thusara Kumarage considered a starting point of 12 years imprisonment for the rape offense as a means of deterring such actions in society.
Justice Kumarage also took into account aggravating factors, including the man’s breach of his daughter’s trust and the premeditated nature of the offenses. The court documents revealed that the man committed the crimes while his wife was away, operating her stall at the market. He would then lure his daughter to the farm under the pretense of collecting food, only to carry out the offenses.
Mitigating factors were also considered, including the plea from the father’s counsel for a lesser sentence, his early guilty plea, expressed remorse, and cooperation with the police during the investigation. These factors led to a reduction of one-third in the sentence, resulting in 10 years of imprisonment. The term was further adjusted to account for the time the man had spent in custody.
He will not be eligible for parole until he has served nine years in prison.