A 56-year-old man from Pentecost residing on Santo has been given 3 years and 3 months’ imprisonment for sexually assaulting another male with intellectual disability.

The court heard that Gaston Bule attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with the 30-year-old male with disability when he went to sleep at his kitchen after having beers with friends at Chapuis and later at Sakele in July last year.

Bule also forced him to engage indecent acts with him, and threatened to kill him if he tells anyone about it.

The complainant is a member of the Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association and resides at Banban area.

According to the verdict dated April 26, 2024, he was really intoxicated and unable to resist or fight back against the defendant’s actions.

Bule, who is a professional carpenter, admitted the allegations when he was arrested by the police. He pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted sexual intercourse without consent and one charge of acts of indecency without consent, contrary to the Penal Code Act.

He was given sentence start point of 4 years’ imprisonment.

Chief Justice (CJ) Vincent Lunabek reduced his sentence by 3 months due to his mitigating factors, including being remorsefulness and a willingness to pursue custom reconciliation.

His sentence was further reduced by 33% for his early guilty pleas.

Bule already spent 19 months in custody, this time will be taken into account in his favor. His sentence started on December 15, 2023.

CJ Lunabek refused to suspend his sentence.

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SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST