13 Years For Stepdad Who Raped 12-Year-Old Stepdaughter
A38-year-old man was sentenced to 13 years and seven months imprisonment yesterday for raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter.
The accused was charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault of which he was found guilty and convicted in the Suva High Court.
The incidents happened at a village in the Eastern Division between March 17, 2017 and April 13, 2017.
While sentencing the accused, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe said the case involved the sexual exploitation of a child, adding that young children were the most vulnerable when it came to sexual assault.
He said it was a monstrous act and he found the case very serious and offenders must be dealt harsh punishment. He also said the purpose of the sentence was founded on the principle of deterrence.
The Court heard that the tariff for rape of a child was between 10 to 16 years and the tariff for sexual assault was between two years and eight years. He said a crime of such a nature affected children both psychologically and emotionally.
At the time of the offence the child was moved away from her home and made to stay with her grandparents.
He said the level of harm and the degree of culpability in the offending was substantially high.
The accused also threatened to do something to the girl if she told anyone about the incidents.
The aggravating factors were that the accused breached the trust between him and the child and there was a vast age difference between them. The court noted that the accused was a first offender.
In his mitigation submission, the defence lawyer submitted family and personal circumstances relating to the accused.
However Justice Rajasinghe said such circumstances had minimal mitigatory value.
A permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) was also issued against the accused with non-molestation and no contact orders.
He will serve 11 years and seven months of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.