Teacher imprisoned after pleading guilty to sexually violating primary school boys

    A Tongan teacher has been sentenced to two years and ten months imprisonment for sexually assaulting five boys with the last 12 months suspended.

    Tēvita Pōʻese Mahe, 24,  pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Tonga to  five  counts  of  indecent assault on a male child under 12  years of age contrary  to section 125 of the Criminal Offences Act for which  the maximum sentence is 7 years imprisonment.

    Mahe was sentenced to one year and 10 months on two counts of sexual assault and four months’ imprisonment on three counts of indecency. The sentences are to be served  concurrently.

    Justice Charles Cato suspended the final 12 months of Mahe’s imprisonment on counts four and five on the conditions that Mahe:

    • Commit no further offences punishable by imprisonment for  the period of suspension
    • Is placed on probation for that period
    • Attends a  course  on  child  abuse  under    the direction  of  probation  and  the  Women  and Children’s crisis centre during the  period of his   suspension.

    The prison sentences  were backdated to his period of being remanded in custody.

    The judge said that the incident had ben humiliating and taken place in the presence of others boys. The sentences would have been longer if there had been evidence of injury.

    The court was told that on September 14, 2015 Mahe  had in  his care four primary school students aged between 9 and 11. About midday they  went  with  him  and another teacher to an allotment to bring coconuts and bananas.

    Mahe and the students were  in the  back of the truck. The other  teacher  was  in the  driver’s cab.

    Mahe discovered that  some  of the  boys had drunk the coconut and became  frustrated.

    While  they  were driving along the road he told the  complainants  to  lie down on coconut fronds that had been collected.

    He told Complainant A to take off  his pants and  instructed  Complainant  B to rub a banana on A’s buttocks.

    Complainant B did so  because  he  was  scared  of Mahe.

    Mahe  gave  his mobile  phone to  Complainant C to take photos of the incident.

    He then told B  to  take off   his  pants  and  for  A   to  rub  the  banana  on   his buttocks.

    Again, A complied with the instruction because he was afraid of Mahe.

    Mahe then ordered  a fourth  boy, Complainant  D, to take  his pants off and for B to rub his buttocks. The accused  then  took  the  banana and inserted it into D’s  anus.

    After  this,  he told  Complainant E to take off his pants and  told  B to  place the  banana  in E’s anus. Complainant B did so because he was afraid.

    The complainants reported the matter to Police on September 16, 2015.

    Mahe   admitted   that his  actions amounted  to  sexual  assaulting  the  boys  who  were  all  under the age of 12.

    Mr Justice Cato said that at the time of the offences, the boys were in his care. He was  responsible  for instructing one  of the boys to sexually violate the anus of another and he himself engaged in this activity with another child.

    Mr Justice Cato said he  considered  these  were  serious departures,  from  what could  be viewed by members of any community of the ordinary standards of decency and conduct expected of a school teacher caring for young boys.

    He said it involved  not  merely  an  assault  on the buttocks of the boys, but sexual violation of the anal areas of two of his young students.

    In sentencing Mahe yesterday Mr Cato said he considered his early guilty pleas, his co-operation with police and his expression of remorse.

    Mahe had no previous convictions and the offending was out of character. He was a good candidate for rehabilitation and qualified for the suspension of part of his sentence.

    He was a person of good character and came from a good family  with  parents involved in teaching   and in religion. He had done well at school  in Niuafo’ou  before  also  doing well at school in Tongatapu and working for a bank before embarking on teaching.

    Mr Justice Cato said Mahe’s guilty plea saved the boys any further humiliation. He had expressed contrition for his offending  and had apologised for his  behavior.

    Mahe was represented in court by legal counsel Siosifa Tuʻutafaiva while Moa represented the Crown.

    The main points

    • A Tongan teacher has been sentenced to two years and two months for sexually assaulting five boys.
    • Tevita Po’ese Mahe, 24, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Tonga to  five  counts  of  indecent assault on a male child under 12  years of age contrary  to section 125 of the Criminal Offences Act for which  the maximum sentence is 7 years imprisonment.
    • Mahe was sentenced to one year and 10 months on two counts of sexual assault and four months’ imprisonment on three counts of indecency.
    • The sentences are to be served concurrently.

    2 COMMENTS

    1. Fakatokanga: Ko kinautolu ʻoku ʻamanaki ke nau lau ʻa e ongoongó ni ʻi he lea faka-Tongá ʻoku ngāueʻaki ʻe he Kanivá ʻa e lea mātuʻaki mahino mo eʻeeʻa ke fakamahino e moʻoni ʻo e meʻa fakalilifu ne fai ki he longaʻi fānaú. ʻOua te ke lau ʻa e ongongo faka-Tongá ʻo ka ko ha toko taha koe ʻoku ʻikai ke ke saiʻia he founga fakalea peheé.

      Naʻe tali halaia ʻi he Fakamaauʻanga Lahi ʻi Nukuʻalofá ʻa Tevita Mahe Poʻese taʻu 24 ki he hia ko e ngaohi koviʻi fakalielia ʻo ha tamasiʻi tangata ʻi lalo hono taʻú he 12 ʻo fepaki ia mo e kupu 125 ʻo e Lao ki he Ngaahi Hiá ʻa ia ko e lahi taha hono tauteá ko e ngāue pōpula taʻu ʻe 7.

      Kuo tautea ia ki he ngāue pōpula taʻu ʻe ua māhina ʻe 10 ka ʻoku toloi maluʻi angalelei ki tuʻa ʻa e taʻu ʻe taha fakamuimuí.

      Naʻe tautea ʻa Mahe ki he taʻu ʻe taha mo e māhina ʻe 10 ki he fakaʻilo ʻe ua ki he ngaohi koviʻi ʻi he fakafiefiaʻi taʻe taau ʻo ha tangata pea ngāue pōpula māhina ʻe fā ki he tikite ʻe tolu ko e fakalielia. ʻE ngāueʻi fakataha pe ʻa e ngaahi tauteá ni.

      Naʻe toloi leva ʻe Fakamaau Charles Cato ʻa e māhina ʻe 12 fakamuimui e ngāue pōpula ʻa Mahé ʻi he fakaʻilo hono faá mo nimá kae makatuʻunga ʻeni ʻi he pau ke fakahū ʻa Mahe ke kau ʻi ha polokalama ʻahiʻahi ʻi he foʻi taimi pau ko ia hono maluʻí , ke ne kau ki ha koosi ʻo hono ngaohi koviʻi ʻo e fānaú ʻi ha fakahinohino ʻe fai ʻi he polokalama ʻahiʻahí mo e Senitā ʻa e Kakai Fefiné mo e Fānaú Fakamamahiʻí.

      Ko e tautea ko ʻeni ʻo Mahé ʻe fakafoki kotoa ke kamata lau mei he ʻaho ne kamata tauhi ai ia ʻe he kau polisí.

      Naʻe pehē ʻe he fakamāú ko e meʻa ko ʻeni ne hokó naʻe fakatupu hāea pea fakahoko ʻi ha uhouhonga ʻo ha tamaiki kehe. Naʻe toe mei lahi ange ʻa e tauteá kapau ne lava fakamoʻoniʻi ne ʻi ai ha lavea he meʻa ne hokó.
      .
      Naʻe fakahā ki he fakamaauʻangá, ʻi Sepitema ʻaho 14, 2015 naʻe nofo ai ʻa Mahe mo ha fānau ako lautohi ʻe toko fā, taʻu 9 mo e 11. Fakafuofua ki he taimi hoʻataá ne nau ō ai mo ha faiako pe ʻe taha ki ha ʻapi tukuhau ke ʻomai e niumotuʻu mo e siaine.

      Naʻe heka ʻa Mahe mo e fānau akó ʻi mui he lolí kae heka e faiako ʻe tahá mo e toengá ʻi muʻa.

      Naʻe ʻilo ʻe Mahe ne inu ʻe he niʻihi e tamaikí ia ʻa e niú peá ne ʻita lahi heni.

      Lolotonga ʻenau lele atú ne ne tala ange kia kinautolu ne lāungá ke tākoto he louniú.

      Ne ne fekau leva ʻa e tokotaha ne lāunga ko A ke vete hono talausesé peá ne fakahinohino leva ʻa e tokotaha lāunga ko B ke ne olo e foʻi siaine ʻi he tuʻungaiku (hūfanga he fakatapú) ʻo A.
      .
      Ne fakahoko ʻeni ʻe lāunga B koeʻuhī he ne ne ilifia kia Mahe.

      Ne ʻoange leva ʻe Mahe ʻene telefoni toʻotoʻó ki he toko taha lāunga ko C ke faitaaʻi ʻa e meʻa ne hokó.

      Ne ne tala ange leva kia B ke vete hono talausesé ka ne fekau ʻa A ke olo e foʻi siainé ʻi hono tuʻungaikú (hūfanga he fakatapú).

      Ne fekau leva ʻe Mahe ʻa e toko taha hono fika faá ʻa ia ko Lāunga D ke vete hono talausesé peá fekau ʻa B ke ne olo e foʻi siainé ʻi hono tuʻungaikú. Naʻe toʻo leva ʻe Mahe ʻa e foʻi siainé ʻo mono he tuʻungaiku ʻo D (hufanga ai pe he fakatapú).

      Hili ʻení ne ne tala ange leva kia E ke vete hono talausesé peá ne fekau leva ʻa B ke ne mono ʻa e foʻi siainé ʻi hono tuʻungaikú peá ne fai kotoa ia ʻe B tuʻunga heʻene ilifiá.

      Ne lāunga kotoa e kau mamahí ki he kau Polisí ʻi Sepitema ʻaho 16, 2015.

      Naʻe vete hia ʻa Mahe ki he ʻuuni meʻá ni kotoa.

      Ne pehē ʻe Cato ko e taimi ne fakahoko ai ʻa e hiá ni naʻe tauhi ʻe Mahe ʻa e fānaú ni. Ne ne fakahinohino e taha ʻo e tamaikí ke ne fakahoko taʻe loto ki ai ha ʻulungāanga fakaefiefia kovi ki he tuʻunga iku ʻo ha toko taha peá ne toe kau pe foki mo ia ʻi ha meʻa tatau mo ha toe tamasiʻi ʻe taha.

      Ne pehē ʻe Fakamaau Cato ko e meʻa ko ʻeni ne hokó ne fuʻu mātuʻaki heva atu ia mei he meʻa ʻoku ui ʻe he kakai ʻo e komiunitií ko e fakalielia angamaheni mo e tōʻonga ne fai ʻe ha taha ne fai atu e ʻamanaki ko ha faiako ʻokú ne tokangaʻi ha fanga kiʻi tamaiki tangata.

      Ne ne pehē naʻe kau heni ʻa e ʻikai ngata pe ʻi hono ngaohi koviʻi e tuʻungaiku ʻo e tamaiki tangatá, ka ko e fakamālohia e ʻulungāanga fakafiefia kovi ʻo fai ki he feituʻu he tuʻungaiku ʻo ha fānau ako kei iiki.

      ʻI hono tautea ʻo Mahe ʻaneafí ne pehē ʻe Cato ne ne fakakauʻi ʻa ʻene ʻuluaki tali halaiá, fengāueʻaki mo e kau polisí pehē ki he hā meiate ia ʻa e loto fakatomala.

      Ne teʻeki ha lekooti faihia ʻo Mahe ki muʻa pea ko e hia ne ne fakahokó ne ʻikai ko ha meʻa ne fai anga ki ai. Ko e kanititeiti lelei ia ki ha fakaakeake peá ne paasi ke toloi ʻa e konga hono tauteá.

      Ko e tokotaha pe ia naʻe ʻulungāanga lelei ki muʻa peá ne haʻu mei he fāmili lelei ko ʻene ongo mātuʻá ʻokú na faiako mo kau ʻi he lotú. Naʻe sai ʻene akó ʻi Niuafoʻou ki muʻa pea hoko atu ʻi Tongatapu peá ne ne ngāue ʻi he pangikeé ki muʻa peá ne hoko ko e faiakó.

      Ne pehē foki ʻe Cato ne hoko e tali halaia ʻa Mahé ke haofakiʻi ai ʻa e fānaú ni mei hano taukaeʻí. Ne ne fakahā ʻene fakatomala he meʻa ne hokó peá ne kole fakamolemole foki ʻi he tōʻonga ne ne faí.

      Ko e loea maʻa Mahé ko Siosifa Tūʻutafaiva kae fakafofongaʻi ʻe Moa ʻa e Kalauní.

    2. Mooni e folofola a Sisu ko ia oku fai pehe ki he fanau oku totonu ke taupungai aki ha maka o li kihe moana.
      Malo Sisu e fakamaama mai.

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