Court releases accused on bail

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A man charged with six counts of sexual offences was released on bail by the High Court in Suva last Friday.

The man is facing three counts of sexual assault, indecently annoying, indecent assault and one count of rape, of his step-daughter.

He had earlier pleaded not guilty to all six counts.

He was produced before High Court judge Justice Siainiu Fa’alogo-Bull for a ruling on his bail application.

Justice Fa’alogo-Bull said the complainant and the accused were in a domestic relationship at the material time, making the alleged offences domestic violence, displacing the presumption of bail but not an automatic refusal of bail.

She said before being charged, the man was employed and providing for his family, and nothing was before the court to say that he would not appear in court to answer the charges if released on bail.

She also said the matter was still in the early stages and a trial date was yet to be fixed.

The man was granted bail with a bond of $1000 non-cash, and two sureties bound in the sum of $500 each, non-cash.

An existing domestic violence restraining order issued by the court remains in place for the protection of the complainant.