Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa showed little emotion when she sentenced a 57-year-old father for incest yesterday.
The man is to serve two and a half years in prison for fondling his 17-year-old daughter, pulling her hair and brandishing a machete to hit her when he was questioned about his late night incestuous behaviour.
The father’s name is suppressed to protect the identity of the victim. He was remanded in custody to await sentencing, after he was last week ruled guilty of sexual charges on his own daughter.
“You passed the blame onto others but you did not look at yourself and the things that you did,” said Justice Tuatagaloa in passing sentence.
“You pointed a finger at your son. You pointed a finger at your wife and you even pointed a finger at your wife’s brother saying you suspected him of doing something to your daughters.
“But there are no testimonies to support that. This court sentences you to prison. The court will not ignore the things you did to your own daughter. And you did it when her mother, your wife, was sleeping.”
The court sentenced him to three years in prison but took into consideration that it was the first time he has appeared in court on criminal charges.
As a first time offender his sentence was reduced by six months, leaving him with two and a half years.
The defendant was charged with indecent assault on a dependent family member and sexual connection on a dependent family member. He pleaded not guilty but the court convicted him on both charges. He received two and a half years for the sex charges.
He also faced an assault charge for pulling his daughter’s hair plus a fourth charge for wielding a deadly weapon when he tried to attack his daughter with a machete. He pleaded guilty to these charges. He received three months for pulling her hair and six months for the weapon charge.
The sentences will be served concurrently.
The incident occurred in Savai’i and the victim said her father came to where she was sleeping and touched her breasts and put his fingers inside her vagina.
When the victim asked him what he was doing there, her father said he was there to give her a cell phone. He went to her bed on two separate occasions, sometime after 2 a.m. and said it was because he wanted to give her a cell phone.
The defendant threatened to kill himself after his daughter told other family members. He told his son he was going to kill himself because his children were being disobedient and the court rejected his testimony.