On June 4, 2024, Silvio Moli, aged 38, was sentenced to 2 years, 2 months, and 15 days imprisonment by Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek for two counts of acts of indecency with a young person.
Case Background:
Offence Details: Mr. Moli, a SANMA Provincial Government Councilor and Vice-President, committed these offences in 2019 when the victim, his 10-year-old relative, was spending weekends with him and his family at Banban, Luganville. He repeatedly touched the victim indecently while she slept.
Discovery and Reporting:
The victim reported the abuse to her family in July 2023, the police subsequently arrested and interviewed Mr. Moli, who admitted his actions, claiming he wanted to test the victim’s ability to keep secrets.
Mitigating Factors:
The court acknowledged Mr. Moli’s clean criminal record, his role as a community leader, and his participation in custom reconciliation.
Legal References:
The case drew comparisons to similar cases, including Public Prosecutor v Gideon [2002], emphasizing that custodial sentences are typically necessary for such offences to protect vulnerable individuals and maintain community trust.
Final Sentence:
Sentence start point was set at 4 years. Mitigating factors and an early guilty plea led to a reduction. Additionally, a delay in prosecution contributed to a further reduction.
Mr. Moli’s final sentence is 2 years, 2 months, and 15 days imprisonment. Pre-custodial time served was deducted from this sentence.
[Disclaimer: All information is compiled from the PACLII Vanuatu database and are able to be accessed by the public online.]