High Court jails stepdad for rape

A 38-year-old man was handed down a 17 year prison sentence by the High Court in Suva last week after being convicted of raping his stepdaughter multiple times between 2017 and 2019.

The man was charged with three counts of rape.

While delivering sentence, Justice Rangajeeva Wimalasena told the father of three that his offending reflected a significant degree of planning and manipulation.

“You have showed no respect for the complainant as your stepdaughter. Your culpability is aggravated by gross abuse of trust as a stepfather,” Justice Wimalasena said.

“Further, it appears that you used authority over her by taking advantage of your position in the family,” he said.

“The complainant was vulnerable by reason of her age and by her personal circumstances as a child who lived in a family with a stepfather.

“You targeted her vulnerability when she was isolated at home during the times that her mother was away.

“The complainant was once compelled to run away from home to avoid sexual abuse by you.

“The evidence shows that you were treating the complainant in a different manner and establishing a special relationship with her.

“Therefore, your behaviour clearly suggests grooming the complainant as preparation for sexual activity.

“Harm to the complainant is clearly evident from the emotional effects and life changes stated in the victim impact statement.

“Also, I have observed that in the last incident, you unleashed violence on her by assaulting the complainant. Subsequently, you raped her while she was in pain due to the assault by you.”

Justice Wimalasena imposed an aggregate sentence of 17 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years.

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