Craig Paulo Saunokonoko
From the Christchurch Press 27th February 2008
A Dunedin computer consultant who began indecently assaulting a young girl inOtago soon after the death of the girl's father has been convicted on three sexcounts. Craig Paulo Saunokonoko, 32, was found guilty by a jury in the Timaru DistrictCourt late on Monday night on one representative count of indecency, and twocounts of rape. He was found not guilty on another count of raping the same girl.
The offences took place between 1998 and 2000, and began soon after the deathof the victim's father. She was 12 or over at the time. Saunokonoko denied the counts but through counsel David Robinson admitted inappropriate contact with the girl. He denied there was ever full intercourse. Tim Gresson, summing up for the Crown, said Saunokonoko's manipulation of the victim was insidious. The accused made it appear he was grieving with the family but he was grooming the victim for his own sexual satisfaction. Saunokonoko was 10 or 11 years older than the victim, who still had emotional scarring.
Gresson said Saunokonoko was trusted by the family. "She was a child dealing with adult issues - unwanted sexual attention," he said. He said the accused bought the victim gifts and exploited a vulnerable family situation. Robinson said Saunokonoko admitted kissing the girl and that he may have touched her breast, but that was all. He said if he was going to be untruthful,he would have said nothing had happened. Saunokonoko was remanded in custody until Friday by Judge Gary McAskill for a sentencing date to be fixed.
Craig Robert Valavalu
Date of Birth
6 August 1975 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to eight years in March 2008
Unsuccessfully appealed the conviction in September 2008
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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