24-yo male teacher gets 8 years for sex with underage student

BY ROMINAH FAKA

A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for having sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 15.

The man, who was a teacher, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual intercourse.

Judge John Keniapisia gave this judgement on May 1.

Keniapisia said this sentence must be a custodial one to teach the accused (teacher) a lesson that teachers hold a parental role over their students, and that role is a higher calling to take good care of every aspect of the student’s welfare, not just academic, but also her future welfare and interest.

Keniapisia said education is the key to the future well-being of any young child and this is the fundamental responsibility of every school teacher.

In this case the victim was under 15 years old and a form 2 student in one of the schools around Auki at the time the crimes took place. The perpetrator was one of the victim’s teachers.

The accused had sexual intercourse with the victim on three separate occasions. The first incident was on an unknown date in June 2019 at night in Auki.

The facts said the accused and the victim made an agreement to meet under the mango tree and the accused went there and both had a sexual intercourse. At that time the victim was 14 years old and eight months.

The second offending occurred on the night of September 24, 2019.

The victim knew there was a unit test the next day so she called the accused and informed him that she will come to his house with her notes for explanations.

The victim went to the accused’s home and after they went through the notes they had sexual intercourse. The victim was 14 years and 11 months old when the second offending occurred.

The third offending occurred on October 22, 2020 at Auki. Both the accused and victim planned to meet that night. The victim informed the accused to come to her house. The accused had to wait until the victim called and inform him that her parents and brothers had already slept.

The accused went to the victim’s house and ask for them to have sexual intercourse outside of the house, but the victim led him into her room and they had sexual intercourse in the victim’s room. The victim was only 15 years and 11 months old at the time the third incident occurred.

Court imposed a starting point of eight years imprisonment.

Aggravating factors include the accused being in a position of trust to the victim as her teacher, the age disparity where the accused was 24 years and victim was 14 years old and 8 months, emotional and psychological harm, the repetitive offending and pre-planning.

For all of the above four aggravating factors, court inflate the starting point to15 years head sentence before mitigation factors.

Court took into account the mitigating factors which included the early guilty plea, first time offender with no previous conviction, compensation and delay. Court deducted seven years for the mitigating factors.

Accused faces the head sentence of eight years in prison.

Samuel Tovosia for Crown and Limeniala for the accused.

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