Monday, 19 May 2008 5:11 PM

Police Charge Man for Raping Impaired Woman

Police in Gizo have charged a 29-year-old male for sexually assaulting an intellectually impaired woman in bush land on Vella Lavella Island.

Police were alerted to the serious crime by a member of the victim's family and travelled from Gizo to Vella Lavella Island to investigate on 9 May 2008.

Detectives from Gizo tracked the suspect to a nearby village following interviews of witnesses.

The 29-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday 13 May 2008, conveyed to Gizo Police Station and interviewed the following day.

Police will allege the man led the 37-year-old intellectually impaired victim from her house and raped her in the bush.

Officer in-charge of the Sexual Assault Unit, Acting Inspector Florence Taro said that all sexual assaults are serious and will not be tolerated by police especially when the victim is intellectually impaired.

"No form of sexual abuse is tolerated in our society. The fact this victim was intellectually impaired and was taken advantage of is disgraceful," Ms. Taro said.

She commended detectives in Gizo for "an outstanding job" in solving the crime.

"[They] should be congratulated for acting so quickly. The assistance provided to the victim and the victim's family in this case demonstrates the dedication the Police have in solving sexual assaults," Ms. Taro said.

The 29-year-old male has been formally charged with raping an intellectually impaired person and is expected to appear in court on 9 June 2008.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province