A High Court judge who presided a rape case in Labasa has described it as “the worst case of sexual violence on a child that has come before the courts in the country.”
While sentencing the 32-year-old accused to 14 years in jail yesterday, Justice Daneil Goundar said: “Physical violence was inflicted on the child to get her to consent to sexual intercourse.
“The child was subjected to further humiliation and pain when you sewed her genital with a needle and cotton thread.”
The accused was charged and found guilty of raping his step-daughter after which he stitched her genital with a needle and thread.
The court heard that on June 25, 2018, the accused was sentenced to 10 years in jail for digital rape of a 16-year-old girl after he pleaded guilty to the charge at the first reasonable opportunity. The victim in this case was his niece.
In this recent case he pleaded guilty to two representative counts of digital rape. One count of penile rape and one count of act with intent to cause grievous harm. The victim this time was his step-daughter.
The first incident occurred in 2013 when the victim was in Year Five and living in the Northern Division with the accused after her mother married him. The abuse came to light when the victim’s cousins noticed a black cotton thread around the victim’s genital while going for a swim in a river near their home. The case was reported to Police.
The stitches were removed by a doctor on May 4, 2018.
Justice Goundar said despite his early guilty plea the court was justified to impose a long prison sentence to reflect the seriousness of his actual conduct and to denounce and deter that conduct.
“On each count, you are sentenced to 14 years imprisonment and for act with intent to cause grievous harm, you are sentenced to four years imprisonment to be served concurrently,” he said.
“The total effective sentence is 14 years imprisonment to be served concurrently with your pre-existing sentence. Making sentences cumulative will offend the totality principle. I fix a new non parole period of 12 years.”
The accused had three children of his own and adopted three children from his spouse’s earlier marriage.