Kemipolo Tu'ungafasi Tongotongo
Court of Appeal judgement here (PDF)
From Christchurch Press story 4th August 2000
A 28-year-old man has been jailed for eight years for the rape of woman he claimed had consented to sex but later became hysterical. Justice Young said at the High Court sentencing that the facts were strange, but it was clear the man had persisted with sexual intercourse without consent, and had used violence.
Before the court was Kemipolo Tu'ungafasi Tongotongo, who had pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual violation by rape. The jury in the Timaru High Court trial had acquitted him on one charge but convicted him on the other. Counsel Leuatea Iosefa said Tongotongo had no previous convictions. He was married with four children, the oldest four years old, and the youngest only a few weeks old at the time of the trial. The impact of his imprisonment on his family would be immense.
"He is a rugby player of some considerable talent," said Mr Iosefa. "The South Canterbury Rugby Union went to a lot of trouble to bring him from Auckland to play for them. "He said there had been earlier sexual activity between Tongotongo and the complainant. The accused did not accept the verdict. "He remains adamant that no sexual activity took place once he became aware that the complainant no longer wished to continue."
Justice Young said Tongotongo had been acquitted on a charge of raping the woman on a picnic table at a hotel about a week earlier than the April 9 incident for which he was convicted. They met again at the same hotel, where the complainant was drinking, and ended up in a hotel room. The judge said the woman had no memory of how she came to be in the room, but she had become aware that Tongotongo was on top of her, having sex. She screamed and struggled and eventually broke free and ran from the room half-clothed.
"It was common ground that she became hysterical. You said it was after consensual sex," said the judge. The woman had an injury to an eye, an abrasion on her cheek, bruising to her arms, and tenderness on her inner thighs. "These were injuries she might be expected to suffer if she was raped in the manner described. "Tongotongo's explanation - that she had tripped over a table when she became hysterical - went nowhere near explaining her injuries. He had been unable to provide a credible and innocent explanation for how she received her injuries or became hysterical.
At the start, the sex may have been consensual, but it became rape when the woman objected. He believed Tongotongo had used force to overcome her resistance and continue with the sex. He said the rape had been reasonably significant in its impact on the complainant. For the Crown, Jane Farish said the aggravating feature was the violence used to restrain the woman to facilitate the rape, over and above the violence inherent in all rape cases.
Date of Birth
Sexual violation by rape in Temuka in April 2000
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 8 years in August 2000, later reduced to 6 years on appeal
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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