Cop queried in child sex hearing

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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The victim’s mother is charged as a party in the case presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson.

The victim’s mother is charged as a party in the case presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson.

Despite standing policies in the Ministry of Police, which prohibits witnesses statements from being reviewed by suspects during investigation stages, Police Constable Kuini Sitivi said she gave in to a plea by the mother accused by her daughters in a sex case. 

This was revealed when the lead investigator gave evidence in the Supreme Court last week during the hearing against the mother and the male defendant accused of attempted sexual violation and indecent assault against the 15-year-old victim. 

The victim’s mother is charged as a party in the case presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson. 

Prosecuting the matter is Lucy Sio while the mother is represented by lawyer, Diana Roma. Masoe Charlie Vaai is representing the male defendant. 

The defendant who testified the day before argued that he was in a girlfriend and boyfriend relationship with the victim. 

Constable Sitivi said that when interrogation with the mother started, she was informed that her daughters have filed a complaint against her.

The victim accuses the mother of allegedly standing by while the male defendant, her mother’s friend from church forced himself upon her in a sexual manner. 

Sitivi said the mother pleaded with her to view the written statements by her two daughters. 

This was after she admitted to the officer that she let her 15-year-old daughter “hang out” with a 41-year-old man. 

Defense Counsel, Mrs. Roma asked Constable Sitivi if it’s allowed under police policy for the statements to be viewed by other parties.

The witness said no. 

Constable Sitivi made it clear that it’s not allowed, however after the mother admitted to the allegations and begged her to view the statements by her daughters, she gave the statements to the mother. 

She said the mother apologized in tears for her actions and admitted to the allegations. 

Mrs. Roma put it to Constable Sitivi that her line of questioning was inappropriate as she accused the mother of allowing her daughter to “hang out” with the defendant, yet the mother admits that she allowed her daughter to “talk” with the defendant. 

At that time Justice Vui intervened noting that those arguments should be addressed during closing submissions.

Mrs. Roma moved on with her questions and pointed out to Constable Sitivi that her client, pleaded guilty to the charges, however during sentencing when the Police Summary of Facts was read in open court, the mother disputed the context. 

Sitivi said she was unaware as she was not present.

 Mrs. Roma then put it to the witness that she was trying to get the mother to admit to the allegations of the case. 

The defense counsel further stated that Constable Sitivi told the mother that she can’t deviate from the case against her. 

The lawyer pointed out to Constable Sitivi when the victim testified, her verbal testimony was different from the written statement and “according to the victim she was scared of you.” 

Constable Sitivi in response stated that victims of sexual cases are often like that, they are certain person(s) whom they trust and comfortable telling the experience and maybe that was the case. 

The prosecution along with the defense rests their case with the completion of testimonies by the parties. The hearing has been postponed for two weeks for the counsels to prepare their written closing arguments to be submitted for Justice Vui’s ruling.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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