A 38-year-old father of two has been jailed for more than 16 years after impregnating his 15-year-old stepdaughter who he indecently assaulted and raped numerous times in 2021 when her mother was not at home.
In sentencing the man in Lautoka, High Court Judge Justice Sunil Kumar told the man that he was a menace and a disgrace to society and that “a long-term imprisonment term is inevitable.”
“What kind of a parent are you? Have you thought of the misery, shame, and pain you have brought to the victim, no amount of repentance can get the victim to lead a normal life. At an age when the victim was to have enjoyed her childhood, you made her pregnant.”
The incidents occurred from May 1 to May 31, and from June 6 to June 8, 2021. During the night, the accused would enter the victim’s bedroom while she was sleeping and proceed to rape her. The incident did not come to light until her aunt noticed a change in the victim’s physical appearance.
During the sentencing process, Justice Kumar took into account both aggravating and mitigating factors. The man expressed remorse for his actions, pledged not to engage in similar behavior again, and submitted that he was the sole provider for his family. He sought forgiveness from both the victim and the court. Justice Kumar also considered aggravating factors such as the breach of trust, the deliberate planning involved in taking advantage of the victim’s vulnerability and her mother’s absence, the significant age difference, the exposure of the child to sexual abuse, and the impact on the victim’s psychological and emotional well-being.
Ultimately, the man was sentenced to 16 years, 4 months, and 20 days, with a non-parole period of 14 years. The court also issued permanent non-molestation and non-contact orders to ensure the protection of the victim.