BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A 22-year-old male has been sent to jail for indecently assaulting his cousin sister.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty on Tuesday and is sentenced to one year four months. He is convicted of one count of indecent act.
The victim was a form-three student when the incident occurred in a village in Guadalcanal in December last year.
Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison in passing sentence said maximum penalty for such offence is five years which means the offence of indecent act is quite serious.
He said the defendant and the victim are cousins through their maternal side; in custom the defendant must respect the victim as his cousin sister, and he is not allowed to have any form of sexual relationship with her.
The actions of the defendant breached the trust between the defendant and the victim including their respective families.
Hollison said on this case the defendant used force by pushing the victim to the ground, and then used a knife to threaten the victim while sitting on top of her.
The victim only managed to escape when she grabbed the defendant’s knife.
“These have caused immense fear to the victim, she shouted for help, and escaped from the defendant.
“These sexual offences that are associated with violence and use of the weapon always have traumatic and psychological effects on the victims.
“The victim in this cried because of fear when he was sitting on top of her and holding a knife,” Hollison said.
Taking into consideration of the submission made by the prosecution and defence lawyers, Magistrate Hollison sentenced the accused to one year and four months for the offence committed.
He also told the defendant yesterday to learn from his incarceration and transform for the better upon his release.
“Both men and women must learn to respect our women, girls and students who are amongst the most vulnerable in our communities, the law is in place to protect such people,” Hollison added.