By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 2018: A 53 year old man has been jailed for 3 years when found guilty of 8 charges of having sex with a minor.
Justice Mata Tuatagaloa delivered her ruling today, making it very clear to the defendant, Lupematasila Taimalelagi that the court cannot tolerate such offence and the application from his lawyer for a non-custodial sentence is out of question.
Justice Tuatagaloa asked Lupematasila whether he had any objection to the police report. He said no and apologised to the Court and asked the court’s permission to say something.
He went on to say that on the day the incident happened, he and the father of the victim had drinks at the victim’s home and when he went home after their drinks, the victim called out to him whether he had any $10 for her in return for sex. Lupematasila told the Court, they then went to the family’s coconut plantation and had sex.
“I asked her how old she was and she told me she was 19 years old, and I swear to God I didn’t know she was 14 years old, because I knew when we have sex that I was not the only one.”
Justice Tuatagaloa clearly told the defendant that the Court found it hard to believe what he was saying because the Probation Report said the first time the sexual connection happened was when he was drunk.
“The law says whether the victim gave consent to have intercourse, it is illegal to have sex with a minor and you are a close friend of the victim’s father and you used your friendship to find your way into having sex with the victim,” said Tuatagaloa.
“You are old enough to know exactly what you were doing. You should be the person to tell the victim that it was not right. But you didn’t.”
According to the Probation Report, the sexual interaction with the victim happened on Sunday afternoons in the back kitchen of the victim’s home.
It was not until the grandmother saw that the girl was pregnant, that she then began to question the victim and she told her grandmother what had happened.
Despite of mitigating factors stated by the Village Pastor, Village Council and the defendant’s sister, Justice Tuatagaloa gave him 3 years and 2 months imprisonment.