A 47-year-old man accused of attempted sexual violation and indecent assault against a 15-year-old girl has told the Court she was his girlfriend.
The defendant revealed this when he gave evidence in the Supreme Court yesterday. The man whose name has been suppressed to protect the identity of the girl has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The girl’s mother who is a friend of the defendant from church is charged as a party to the offense.
The mother is represented by lawyer, Diana Roma, while Masoe Charlie Vaai, is representing the male defendant. Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson is presiding.
Yesterday, the Court heard from the 43-year-old defendant that on the night in question he went to the victim’s residence to inform his “girlfriend’s mother” that they were dating.
According to the man, he felt that it’s been a while since he was dating the 15-year-old (at the time) and that it was time to meet her family.
He said that not many people knew of their secret relationship as “girlfriend and boyfriend.”
The defendant adamantly told the Court that he was in a relationship with the complainant and when he met the mother, she accepted him and welcomed him in the home and the three of them sat down and talked.
But this is not in accordance with the girl’s story. On Monday, the girl told the Court she was sleeping with her younger siblings when her mother woke her up, telling her to go and sit next to a man on a chair.
The victim obliged, got up and sat next to the male defendant. The mother proceeded by telling her to move closer to him (male defendant) and she did.
The victim alleged that the mother then instructed her to go with the male defendant to the back kitchen and again she did as she was told.
She said while she went to the kitchen, her mother continued conversing with the man and after a while the man came to where she was sitting on the dining table and kissed her.
At the time, she called out to her mother asking why she was letting this happen.
“I can’t believe that you don't love me,” she said to her mother.
The Court heard from the victim’s testimony the mother was sitting on a chair playing with her phone. According to the victim, not long after, her mother came to the kitchen and instructed the male defendant to stop and he did. The victim stated that afterwards, the man left with her mother while she was crying.
Not long after her mother returned and went straight to bed and did not say anything to her about what had allegedly occurred.
In Court yesterday, the girl’s sister reaffirmed her testimony.
During cross examination, the defendant was asked to explain the money she gave to the victim’s mother.
He said the mother called asking him for money to buy a dress for the victim for white Sunday.
According to the defendant, it was his love for his girlfriend that he gave the $100 to the mother to buy her a white Sunday dress.
At that point, Justice Vui asked the defendant if its true he wanted to take the victim to Savai’i .
He confirmed that he asked the mother who then said to ask the victim. The defendant also confirmed that the victim did not want to go and so he left for Savai’i by himself.
During cross examination the Prosecutor Lucy Sio put it to the defendant that the reason he was giving money to the victim’s mother was to entice them with his money.
The defendant denied this.
The prosecution also put it to the defendant the reason why he visited the victim’s residence was to conduct his inappropriate sexual acts on the girl.
Justice Vui then asked the defendant as to how long he was “dating” the victim.
He said a month and couple of weeks.
Justice Vui further asked if he ever returned to the victim’s residence since the night he met the victim’s family and the defendant said no.
He questioned why he did not return to the residence, yet his testimony was that he was accepted by the mother.
The defendant said that there were a lot of dogs near the residence and he did not want to go back to the house.
However he met with the victim during church functions and that’s where they talked. The hearing continues.