A YOUNG man who confessed to having forced sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl last year has been sentenced to two years in prison without suspension, Wednesday.
The juvenile (D.A) who cannot be named for legal reasons was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of sexual intercourse with a child under 15 years of age.
Principal Magistrate Augustine Aulanga in his sentencing remarks said it is in his view that sexual violation or exploitation of young children in the Solomon Islands should be condemned to its fullest.
“The court as the implanter of the law should take the leading role in denouncing this rime and this can be realised through the imposition of the sentence that reflects the objective seriousness of this offence,” Magistrate Aulanga said.
“To see a young convicted offender who sexually molested a child walks free in the society will definitely an insult to the eyes of the law in its dispensation of justice to the victims of crime,” he added.
Magistrate Aulanga said because the nature of this case is serious, he does not think a suspended sentence is appropriate.
The incident happened on 19 September 2020 at around 9 pm in Honiara.
It was heard that the victim went to pay top-up at a canteen in the area she was residing and it was on her way back home that D.A called her to wait for him.
It was further heard the victim did not stop and continued to walk.
D.A called out the second time.
Magistrate Aulanga said it is unclear whether she responded to the accused but from the facts, it revealed that D.A asked her to follow him to an empty house beside the main road.
Inside the house, it was then heard that the accused asked her to remove her clothes but she refused.
The court was told that it was when the victim was about to escape when the accused pulled her back and had sexual intercourse with her.
The victim reported the matter to her family members, resulting in the arrest of the accused D.A.
Following the incident, a compensation of $1,000 was paid to the victim’s family.
Magistrate Aulanga said the victim was taken to the Seif Ples clinic for medical examination and the medical report did not reveal any injuries and also concluded the victim was sexually abused prior to the incident.
According to the facts of the case, both the accused and the victim attended the same school.
The 16-year-old accused was in form 1 while the victim was in grade five last year.
Magistrate Aulanga said he understood D.A was influenced by his peers in Honiara and that he started to misbehave after his parents had separated and divorced.
He said the social welfare report also disclosed D.A had planned to further his education if he has the chance in the future.
Magistrate Aulanga also considered the victim’s circumstances in the Victim Impact Statement on which she revealed that the incident had distorted her life she used to be before the incident.
He said the victim stated that she was stigmatised and isolated from her friends since her friends would talk at her back about what happened to her.
“After school, she could not able to spend time with her friends but had to go back home immediately.
Magistrate Aulanga said he found this case is forced sexual intercourse, where this young and gullible girl was deceived into following the offender to the empty house at this late evening under the pretext that he was her school mate.
He said the victim realised that she was deceived into something terribly bad to her in person when she was asked have sex.
“It must have been a sleazy and horrendous experience for this small girl to be overpowered by this offender at that odd place during that night.
“This offender should know that this girl is not an object to satisfy his immoral desires.
“She is a human and a precious soul in the community, equally important to him.”
Magistrate Aulanga said despite he is a juvenile, the circumstances of this offence is characterised by forced sexual intercourse and exploitation of a child.
He said the sentence he imposes must have the effect of changing his behaviour – to put a full stop to it.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Rodney Manebosa represented D.A while Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi appeared for the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN BONGIDANI