By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018: The 13 year old female victim that her biological father performed a series of sexual acts has written in her victim impact report to the court that her father should remain behind bars.
Justice Leiataualesā Daryl Clarke convicted and sentenced the 36 year old man (the victim’s father) to 7 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to 40 charges of unlawful sexual connection and 1 charge of indecent assault.
In the victim’s impact report which was read out in court today, she said she was threatened by her father and that she was scared every time her father approached her. The report went on to say that “over the years that her father did it to her; if she refused, he would be angry and punish her. She said she no longer wanted to see him as it would remind her of what he did to her.”
The incident first started in 2013 when the defendant went to the mosquito net the victim was sleeping and performed incestuous act to his daughter. In the defendant’s report to the police, he said he thought it was his wife.
From 2013 to 2017, he continued this pattern of sexual acts against his daughter, and Justice Leiataualesā said of the offences are similar in nature. He referred to this particular case as very unusual because of the many years he did it. “It is a very much a pre mediated offence.”
Aggravating features of the offence
· The gross breach of trust between father and daughter
· The scale offence involving in all 12 incidences of sexual offending constituting a pattern of sustained and long term sexual abuse against the daughter over a period of 4 years.
· The harm to the victim inherent in the defendants offending
· Age difference between the father and daughter
· The daughter’s vulnerability given her young age and the circumstances of offending and
· The offending was premeditated and planned.
During his ruling, Leiataualesā sent a very strong message to the country that the court will not in any circumstances tolerate this kind of offence.
This matter only came to light when the victim became involved in an argument with her sister in January 2017 and the sister threatened to report the victim to her mother of which she did.
The defendant remains under name suppression as the victim is under aged. None of the defendant’s relatives were present at sentencing.