A 23-year-old man who raped a 4-year-old girl has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by High Court Judge, Justice Salesi Temo.

The incident happened on the 24th of May last year in Bua when the accused and the victim had gone to a church to fetch water.

It was heard in court that the accused was a close friend of the victim’s father and would often visit the family. It was also said in court the child’s family did not have access to tap water and to get water, they had to walk to a nearby church, to fetch water from the church tap.

It was also heard in court that on the day of the incident, the victim’s father had asked the accused to fetch water and the child had cried to accompany him and she was allowed to do so.

The court heard that when they reached the tap in the church bathroom, the accused raped the victim.

While sentencing the man, Justice Temo says the child’s parents, trusted him with their child, when the two went to the nearby church to fetch water.

However, Justice Temo says the man abused the trust by raping the child, when no-one was around.

The Judge says the courts had been saying in the past and will say again that, those who are found guilty of raping children must not expect mercy from the courts. He adds it is the court’s duty to pass heavy sentence to warn other would-be offenders and to protect the children of this country.

Justice Temo says by offending against the child complainant, the man had no regard for her right as a human being, her right as a child, her right to personal safety and her right to enjoy a peaceful and happy life.

A non-parole period of 10 years has been set.

Source - fijivillage
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