Ten give evidence in alleged assault case

Wednesday September 13, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

Ten witnesses are giving evidence for the Crown and prosecution in a case that will decide whether Tautua Solomona Iosefa indecently assaulted an 18-year old female last year.

 

The court heard on Monday that before the alleged incident, the complainant had not known the defendant.

The Crown has submitted that on the night she had walked to her boyfriend’s house the defendant had asked if she wanted a lift and she had refused. The accused had then pulled her by the arm and forced her on to his motorbike

The complainant said she couldn’t run away because she had an injured toe and was wearing jandals.

With the complainant on the back, the defendant drove off towards the complainant’s home. She asked him to drop her off a short distance from her home.

The court heard that as she turned to walk away, the defendant grabbed her and pulled her towards him. He then began kissing, fondling and groping her

Although she had pushed both his hands away, the defendant said she hadn’t done anything else because she was afraid of being hurt.

While he was allegedly indecently assaulting the young woman, a motorbike appeared a short time later and the defendant told her to run away. The complainant said she couldn’t run and could only walk away quickly

The young woman told the court she said she saw the female driver of the bike speak briefly to the defendant before approaching her. The complainant, who knew the driver, asked to be dropped off at a friend’s home.

The young woman said she was in shock and upset, and asked to be taken to her boyfriend’s home. She did not want to return to her own home because she feared being given a “hiding” by her mother because she had sneaked out.

She told her boyfriend’s parents what had happened. The young woman was returned home by parents of her boyfriend and her mother informed what had happened. She told the court it was she who had wanted to lay a complaint with police.

Asked by defence counsel Norman George what she and her boyfriend had argued about, the young woman could not recall. She hadn’t asked her mother for permission to walk to her boyfriend’s home as they had argued after her mother had gone to sleep. She had wanted to walk to her boyfriend’s home late at night because she felt a need to “sort things out.”

George: “You can’t remember what the argument with your boyfriend was about, but you can remember what you said to the defendant?

The complainant replied that she had been told to memorise the statement she had given police last year

The complainant admitted she had been “kind of” afraid of the dark and had relied on streetlights as she did not have her phone.

George asked whether she had been she afraid of being accosted by strangers on the road to which the complainant replied, “I don’t know.”

She said that at her boyfriend’s house she had not knocked on the door, agreeing with counsel she had been angry and disappointed that her boyfriend was asleep.

George suggested to the complainant that it was she who had held her hand out to stop the defendant on his motorbike. “Wasn’t it you who asked him for a lift home?”

“No.”

George: “When he stopped, did he get off the motorbike?”

“No”

George suggested that for the defendant to be able to grab the complainant and swing her onto the back of the motorbike seat would have been impossible.

The complainant reiterated that she hadn’t wanted to get on the defendant’s bike but “I was forced to.”

She also said at the time she “wasn’t thinking right, I was afraid.”

George suggested she could have run away from the defendant, who had been sitting on his motorbike, to her boyfriend’s house. The complainant replied she hadn’t because she wasn’t thinking straight at the time.

Norman George: “It is impossible for someone sitting on a motorbike, the engine running to grab someone and force them onto the back of the bike unless they are willing.”

The complainant said she had got on the bike because she believed the defendant would take her home.

NG: “The defendant was quite polite wasn’t he? You felt reasonably happy enough to hop on the back and go with him?”

Complainant: “No not really, but I did anyways.”

NG: “You accepted a certain amount of risk didn’t you?”

Complainant: “I think so.”

The complainant agreed that the defendant had stopped his bike and let her off when she asked him to.

It is at this point that the complainant claims she was sexually assaulted by the defendant, who had turned his motorbike off, lowered the parking stand and remained seated on one side.

“From a seated position it would be impossible for him to do what he did while seated on a motorbike,” challenged George.

“All I know is that he did that to me on that night,” responded the complainant.

Norman George also told the court that contrary to the young woman’s story, his client felt dropping off the complainant had been like taking home a ghost, because she walked away so quickly.

George repeated the accusation that the complainant had merely been trying to “get back” at her boyfriend and had made up the indecent assault incident.

The young woman denied this.

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