A man who raped his 13 and a half years old stepdaughter and threatened to kill her if she calls anyone has been sentenced to four years in jail.

This unlawful sexual intercourse happened one night at 11:00pm after the defendant, Ricky Iamak, had an argument with his wife. He threatened his stepdaughter and told her not to scream while demanding that she respond to his sexual desire.

According to the verdict, the girl was terrified by the threat and reluctantly allowed her stepdad to engage in sexual intercourse with her.

Iamak admitted the offending when the matter was reported to the police.

The maximum sentence of unlawful sexual intercourse is 15 years’ imprisonment, similar to threats to kill.

There were no mitigating factors. After considering the aggravating factors of the offending, Judge Dudley Aru of the Supreme Court gave Iamak a sentence starting point of 5 years’ imprisonment with an uplift of 1 year, considering the seriousness of the offending making a total of 6 years’ imprisonment.

The sentence was reduced by 8 months due to his personal factors.

41-year-old Iamak is a first time offender. He is an active member of his community and earns his living through subsistence farming. Iamak is also the breadwinner for his family. He is married with four children, two attending secondary school and two others in primary school. His wife has left him to begin a new life, leaving him with the children.

The sentence is further reduced by 4 months because of a custom reconciliation he performed to the victim and her mother. He gave them a pig worth VT50, 000, 5 stems of kava, some crops and mats.

Another 20% sentence reduction was given for his guilty plea.

Iamak initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and the matter was listed for trial, which did not proceed. On July 10, he was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty.

His sentence is effective starting from February 23 this year.