Hearing of gang rape adjourned to next year

Samoa’s Courts and Justice Administration buildings

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: TUESDAY 07 OCTOBER 2014: The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned the hearing of seven young men accused of allegedly raping a young woman to the 23 March 2015.

The seven defendants appeared in Court this morning on 12 charges which include rape, attempted rape, unlawful sexual connection, attempt to commit sexual violation and indecent assault.

The Court withdrew indecent assault and attempted rape charges against four of the defendants after the Prosecution’s application while two pleas of not guilty were vacated and replaced with guilty pleas.

The hearing for the defendants is scheduled for the 23 March 2015 while the Court deals first with the guilty pleas entered by four of the defendants on other charges.

A verdict on the four guilty pleas will be delivered on 24 November 2014.

All seven are jointly charged with four charges of rape, attempt to commit sexual violation, unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault.

Three are jointly charged with one count of rape while two are jointly charged with unlawful sexual connection.

The other five are charged individually with indecent assault charges.

The charges originated from an incident that happened during a party at one of the villages in the eastern side of Upolu last year.

The defendants are released under bail and an order for name suppression and the village where the incident happened is still enforced.

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