Thursday, July 28, 2011

Law & Order Breaks Down in Fiji as Aussie Tourist Raped

Fiji Times - 27 July 2011
6 years for raping tourist

by Margaret Wise

A 33-YEAR-OLD man was yesterday handed a six-year sentence for raping an Australian tourist after she was "enticed" to join him and a group of friends for drinks on a beach.

Presiding judge Justice Priyantha Nawana also ordered that Peni Lotawa be eligible for parole only after serving four years of the term.

Lotawa was found guilty by majority opinion of the assessors and Justice Nawana concurred that he should be convicted of the offence of rape as charged.

The court heard that the Australian national was visiting a well-known Nadi resort with her parents when the incident occurred.

On December 30 (last year) she went for a walk on the beach when she met a group of young people.

They greeted her 'Bula' and talked her into joining them for drinks.

The victim took a walk to a lake where Lotawa followed and dragged her into mangroves before raping her.

Justice Nawana said the victim joined the youths to enjoy her herself but Lotawa misused the occasion to satisfy his sexual desire.

"The accused was 33 years of age and therefore was in an age of maturity so as to make rational judgments," he said.

"The fact that he was perhaps in a state of drunkenness will not serve as a factor to mitigate the sentence."
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