BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to three years for raping a 16-year-old girl in Santa Cruz, Temotu province.
The incident occurred in 2019, when the man was 19 years old.
The man had admitted to the court having committed the offence on the said date.
High Court Justice Maelyn Bird in her sentence yesterday told the man that the offence of rape is a serious one and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
“It is as serious as a murder charge because you have intruded into the privacy of the victim,” Ms Bird said.
She told the man that he had taken advantage of the victim’s vulnerability as a weaker gender.
“The victim is of the weaker sex and in such an isolated place, anything could have happened to her.”
The incident occurred on a Sunday afternoon on an unknown date betweenMarch 17 and 24, 2019; the victim left her home to get banana for her family at their plantation.
It was during that time the accused met the victim and committed the offence on her.
The accused also threatened the victim not to shout and, later, not to tell her parents about what happened.
However later in April the victim had a severe stomach ache and called her mother to feel her stomach.
“Her mother asked her if she had met a man but she did not answer. The mother told the father about it and the father asked the victim if she had slept with a man. The complainant did not answer. The victim later told her parents that you had sex with her,” Bird told the accused.
The victim was then taken to Lata Hospital and examined by a doctor, in which the doctor found evidence of infection resulting from a sexually transmitted disease.
“There she was treated with medication regarding the infection,” Bird said.
Therefore, considering all facts and mitigation before the court Justice Bird imposed a sentence of three years and also made directions that the period spent in custody will be deducted from the total sentence.