A 41-year-old man who sexually assaulted and raped his stepdaughter, at their residence in Suva, over a span of three years starting when she was 11 in 2017, has been sentenced to more than 10 years behind bars.
The abuse started when the victim and her mother moved in with the man, aged 37 years at the time, after her father died.
Court documents showed that the man carried out the acts whenever the victim’s mother was away from home, either at work or out shopping, with the first incident happening on a Friday after school in 2017. The second time it happened was in 2019 after the victim’s 13th birthday, and the turning point came on 8 August 2020 when he raped her while he was drunk. She sought shelter at her neighbour’s house after the man fell asleep, and she stayed there until her mother returned home to take her to the police station to report the matter.
The man also had nine previous convictions, his last conviction was in 2011 for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In sentencing the man at a high court in Suva, Justice Daniel Goundar said he “breached her trust by repeatedly violating her body, soul and dignity…in the security of her home” and as such the total sentence of 18 years imprisonment marked the “community’s disapproval of the abhorrent nature of the crime against a child by her stepfather.”
After having spent seven months in remand custody, the 41-year-old stands to serve a further 17 years and five months in jail with a non-parole period of 14 years.