You violated the trust of the girl’s parents, accused told
A MAN who raped his 14-year-old niece two years ago in a Guadalcanal village was jailed for five years in the High Court, on Tuesday.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer told the accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, he had violated the trust the girl’s parents placed on him.
“You were in a position of trust to the victim,” Sir Albert told the accused, who was 24 at the time of the crime in 2013.
“You were like an ‘uncle’ to her by virtue of your age and therefore should have been in a position to take care of her and to look after her while you were with her,” he added.
“Her parents trusted you as a close relative and so opened their house and home for you to go in and out freely.
“You took advantage of you position and status and used that to gain access to her at her house and what she was doing that time, followed her when she went to the store and accosted her on a lonely or quiet part of the road.
“You used you strength and size to overpower her to commit the offence.
“This type of offence by someone known to the victim and in fairly close proximity seems to be quiet common and needs to be addressed seriously in the community as well by other stakeholders,” Sir Albert said.
The court earlier heard the accused was a frequent visitor to the victim’s home and on that day she told the court the accused’s presence in the house was not threatening or appeared negative until when the accused followed her on the road and accosted her.
Sir Albert said rape has always been regarded as a serious offence for it entails a violation of the personality and dignity of a victim.
The court heard the victim was a 14-year-old student at that time of the offence, while the accused was a married man and 24 years of age at that time.
Sir Albert said the relatively young age of the victim is an aggravating feature in this case for obvious reasons.
He told the accused that it not only places him in a position of authority but also of trust as well with accompanying expectations of being mature, responsible and accountable.
“You took advantage of this age difference and abused the power and authority conferred on you to commit the offence.
“The sentence to be imposed must reflect the seriousness and revulsion with which the public holds against this type of offence and the need to protect young children,” the chief justice said.
The sentence was seen as far less compared to other rape cases of similar nature where accused got between eight to 12 years in jail.
Public prosecutor Florence Joel said they are yet to discuss whether to appeal the sentence or not.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN