A MAN has been found guilty last Friday of raping his teenage daughter twice on two different occasions 2016 at a school guest house in the province.
The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of her daughter was convicted of two counts of rape after a trial.
The court had heard that on 25 August 2016 the defendant asked his daughter who was 17 years-old at that time to have sex with him.
She refused but he continued to ask her which leads to the victim complying with her father’s demand.
The court also heard that on 6 September 2016, the victim went to his father’s house to look for food when her father insisted to have sex with her.
The victim refused but when her father insisted and started raising his voice she succumbed to his demand.
The victim was doing her fourth form at that particular community high school in Isabel at that time and was residing at the school’s dorm.
On both occasions, the court had heard the victim went to her father’s house to look for food when those incidents occurred.
The court also heard that the victim’s mother gave birth to her when she was still a young girl and unmarried and so the victim had been raised by her grandmother.
The victim had been introduced to the defendant as her father sometime in 2002 and went to live with him and his family in 2013 at a secondary school in Makira.
She also followed him when he transferred to another secondary school in Makira in 2014 and 2015 where she attended Forms 1 and 2 at the school.
In 2016 she went to continue with her studies in the fourth form at a secondary school in Isabel Province.
It was heard that her father transferred to that same school in August 2016 and stayed at the school guest’s house during that time when both offences occurred.
As part of his defence, the defendant said that both on both occasions sexual intercourse were consensual.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer in his judgement said in both instances, the victim was clear in her evidence that she refused and did not want to have sex with him but eventually complied after so much pressure and persistence from the defendant.
“She told the court that she was afraid that if she did not comply then he could hurt her,” Sir Albert said.
He added that on the issue of fear of harm or being hurt, the victim had given unchallenged evidence of previous instances of being whipped, kicked or hit on the head when the defendant became angry or upset with her.
“I am satisfied even if the evidence in relation to those previous acts of violence and behaviour may not be directly related to both incidents, this would have been relevant to the question of fear and intimidation that she may have felt during those times, that if she did not comply he became upset and angry, he was capable of harming or beating her.”
Sir Albert was satisfied that prosecution had established to the requisite standard that her fear of the defendant on both occasions was both real and genuine.
He further added that in cross-examination, when it was put to her that she was a willing participant she maintained that she only complied because she was afraid of him.
“She was never discredited or shaken in cross examination throughout and remained firm and consistent in her evidence.
He said he observe the victim’s demeanour in court and find that throughout she remained consistent, clear and unfazed about the issue of consent, that she repeatedly refused to have sex with him and denied his advances.
“I am satisfied this denial or refusal would have been more than sufficient to convey plainly and clearly to the defendant in no uncertain terms, her lack of consent.”
He added that the defendant would not have been mistaken or confused about that plain fact.
“He should have known and ought to have known that she did not want to have sex with him for the plain and simple reason that he was her “real father”, that it was wrong and that he knew that she was afraid of him.
“He knew or ought to have known that as a father, he held an inherent position of authority, power, trust, responsibility towards her and that if he persisted in his demands and actions, she was bound to comply.
“As a father she respected and trusted him that he would not even think of asking her to do such a disgraceful and shameful thing to her, his own daughter but he did not.
“He forgot all about those restraints and compelled her to have sex with him.”
Sir Albert said to that intent, the defendant knew or ought to have known, if he did not know, was reckless to that fact of consent in the pursuit of his sexual desires.
He said the defendant has not adduced any evidence to the contrary that he did not know that she was not consenting or was reckless to that fact.
“I am satisfied prosecution have established on the evidence that he knew on both occasions that she was not a willing party to his sexual advances and demands.”
Having being satisfied that the prosecution have established on the evidence of elements of the offences of rape on both occasions, Sir Albert then entered convictions on both counts of rape.
The sentencing submissions and mitigation on this matter will be made in court on July 2.
Lazarus Waroka of Public Solicitor’s Office represents the defendant while Public Prosecutor Patricia Tabepuda is prosecuting.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN BONGIDANI