A teenage boy faces jail after being convicted of sex offences against a 12-year-old girl, committed when he was 17.
Sione Pifeleti Maile, now 19, told the girl that if she loved him they should have intercourse and she had agreed.
Maile did not give or call evidence during his trial but made a short dock statement (a practice still available in Tonga) in which he said that he had looked after the girl while they were together and that he did not know having intercourse with her was unlawful.
He was charged with five counts of carnal knowledge of a young person under the age of 15 contrary to sections 121 (2) and 123 of the Criminal Offences Act. He pleaded not guilty and elected trial by Judge alone.
The court was told the girl met the accused on Facebook late in 2017 when she was about 12.
At one stage the girl had an argument late on a Saturday evening with her mother who gave evidence and said she knew nothing about her daughter’s contact with the accused on Facebook.
The argument ended with the girl leaving the house on the Saturday evening and meeting up with the accused at an arranged location in Longolongo.
They finally went to Maile’s house in Hala’ovave, and to a hut located on the property.
The couple kissed after they arrived but the victim refused after Maile initially asked to have intercourse.
The next day, which was a Sunday, they had some food which the Maile had prepared and then walked back to his uncle’s home. Later, they returned to the hut and, although some sexual activities took place initially, the complainant denied intercourse.
However, they finally had sex that evening and the girl said that it hurt. They then went to sleep. They continued to have intercourse later on.
During this period, there was no contact with her mother. The accused would cook meals and, although it would seem members of his family were in the house, the complainant had no contact with them and they may not have known of her presence in the hut.
The next day, police came to the house.
The girl’s mother gave evidence that she had learned where her daughter was from inquiries she had made and advised the police of the address. She had formerly reported her daughter missing to the police.
Maile was later arrested by Police.