The Supreme Court has jailed a 57-year-old man for unlawful sexual connection with a 15-year-old girl. He has been jailed for two years and nine months.
The man’s name has been suppressed to protect the victim. The decision was handed down by Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Warren last month.
The summary of facts admitted by the accused says that the accused is a family friend and was living with the victim and her family at her house at Vaoala.
Prior to this offending, the accused had caught the victim having sex with a cousin. He then told the victim that if she does not come to him in the same way, he would tell the victim’s mother and stepfather.
The defendant was married with two children and another six children from earlier marriages. He lives at Vailima with family while his own family and children live at Aleipata.
He worked as a tar sealer for four years but most of his time is now spent tending to his family’s plantation. His older children in Australia send him money.
According to the accused, the victim in this matter had come to him expressing her misery at what her step father and brother were doing to her that is, having sex with her.
She said her mother knew what was happening and did nothing. She said she gave in because of fear.
The accused has five previous convictions from 1984-1987, two of those being for rape and indecent assault.
“The victim impact report says that the victim was scared of the accused,” the Court’s ruling reads.
“When she does not obey his orders, he gets really angry towards her and treats her like his wife. Sometimes he would try to assault her by slapping or punching her.
“She says the accused also threatened to kill her if he ends up in jail. This caused her to panic and keep what happened to herself.
“She is now staying at Samoa Victim Support Group Shelter where she feels safe. She sometimes has flashbacks to what happened.”
In sentencing, Justice Tafaoimalo slammed the defendant.
“The age difference of 47 years between the accused who is 57 and the victim who is 15 years old is a significant aggravating factor.
“He is an adult, married with children. He is much older than the victim, and he took advantage of this.
“It is also aggravating that the accused had a domestic relationship with the victim pursuant to the Family Safety Act 2013 in that they shared the same residence. Section 17 of the Family Safety Act provides that the Court shall consider this as an aggravating factor.
“The accused is an adult living in the same house as the victim. He is in a position of trust in relation to the victim, a position which he abused.
“The accused also knew that the victim was particularly vulnerable because of her age and because she was a victim of sexual abuse by others, a fact that she shared with him prior to his offending. Rather than helping this child, who is a victim of a sexual abuse, he victimised her further by having sex with her numerous times.
“He saw her having sex with a cousin and used what he had seen to get her to have sex with him which is an extremely manipulative thing to do to a young girl.
“This offending was premeditated and that is an aggravating feature. It took place six times during a period of about 2 months.
There was a high level of premeditation given that this offending occurred a number of times. This cannot be attributed to impulsive behaviour. He used what he learnt about her, to; in essence, blackmail her into having sex with him.
“The psychological impact on the victim is contained in the Victim Impact Report. She is scared of him as he threatened her.”