IM this article to a friend!

October 12, 2004

Disabled teenager in second sex attack case

From: Fiji Times, Fiji - Oct 12, 2004

A DEAF and mute teenager, recently released from the Suva Boys Center after undergoing rehabilitation for indecent assault, will reappear in a magistrates court on Friday to be sentenced for attempting to rape on a Canadian tourist.

Ilaitia Romulo, 17, of Navala Village in the interior of Ba, aided by sign language interpreter, pleaded guilty to trying to rape a 24-year-old tourist on October 6 along a trek close to his village.

Prosecutor Sergeant Vakacegu Toduadua told the court that the victim, who was from Quebec in Canada, was living in the village when the incident happened.

Sergeant Toduadua said the victim accompanied a group of youths, including the accused, on a fresh water fishing trip, about three kilometres from the village. At about 5pm, the woman decided to return to the village before it got dark.

Romulo followed her back and managed to get her attention to wait for him.

Before the village, he convinced the victim to follow another track.

When she realised she had been tricked, Romulo attacked her from behind. Sergeant Toduadua said the pair fell to the ground and the victim rolled the accused over, picked a stick and struck him with it before fleeing.

She reported the matter in the village.

In mitigation, Romulo indicated that he was tempted to commit the crime when he realised the victim was returning to the village by herself.

He said through an interpreter that he was sorry for what he did and promised never to reoffend.

Ba magistrate Salote Kaimacuata said the crime was very serious and before passing sentence, she wanted to speak with Romulo's parents.

On August 18, 2003, Romulo was committed to the Boys Centre until he turned 17 after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting a three-year-old girl in the village school compound.

Copyright © 2004, Fiji Times Limited. All Rights Reserved