Father of six cops 21 years over rape of minor

A 56-year-old father of six who raped a minor, over a period of three-and-a-half years leading into the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in Fiji and the lockdown in 2020, has been sentenced to 21 years in jail.

Court documents showed that the victim was left in the man and his defacto partner’s care at their Nausori home by her unemployed parents when she was seven – a year before the abuse began.

When the abuse started in 2017, the man, was 52, and his sixth child, now aged two, had not been born. He had five children at the time – three of whom were aged over 22 years from a previous relationship, and two via his partner, with the oldest aged 19.

Whenever she refused his biddings, he would threaten to hit her with a ‘sasa’ broom. Then he would give his phone to his daughter so as to keep her occupied and unaware of the going-on.

The abuse continued through 2019 when the victim was in year 6 and into 2020, and at times he would make her watch phonographic videos before carrying out the acts.

The court heard that the child was adversely affected emotionally and psychologically. She distanced herself from others, “hardly goes out or mix around with friends because of the bad things which was done to her. She finds it hard to socialise with others…and that the incident keeps coming into her mind from time to time when she is at home.”

In sentencing the man, high court judge Justice Kulatunga considered the impact on the child, the 42-year age gap, the duration of the abuse, the planning that went into it so as not to attract attention, her vulnerability, helplessness, the misery he had caused to her and her family and having deprived her of the “right to live a happy unmolested and peaceful life.”

The man had been in custody since 25 July 2020 – for nearly 21 months which will be deducted from his 21-year-term. He is not eligible for parole until he has served 15 years behind bars.

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