Order lifted, ex-Minister guilty of indecent assault
“The Court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the acts of exposure occurred, the statements or intimations made and the acts of masturbation as recounted by the complainant occurred and that such acts amounted to indecency.”
A suppression order on the name and details of a former Cabinet Minister accused of indecent assault has been lifted. The decision was made by Supreme Court Justice Pierre Slicer on Thursday when he ruled on 10 charges of indecent assault and 10 charges of unlawful intimidation against Mulitalo Siafausa Vui. A former Commissioner of the Public Service Commission (PSC), the ex- Lano MP was accused by a 32-year-old woman, whose names and details remain suppressed. The woman used to work for Mulitalo.
According to the Supreme Court, she was “the sole breadwinner for her family” and as such “she was vulnerable to the improper suggestions of her employer.” One day when she arrived at work, the defendant asked her if she had a husband and child to which she replied “yes.”
“The defendant then asked her whether she loved him, and the complainant replied and (sic) yes and further said words to the effect that she loved him like a father,” Justice Slicer’s ruling said.
“ The defendant then told the complainant to listen carefully, and then said to her that she was not to let anyone outside these gates know what happens on this land. “Shortly afterwards as she was tending to the chickens, she walked to the side of the house and the defendant yelled out to her to get his towel. At that time the defendant was inside the shower.
“The complainant retrieved the defendant’s towel, and went to hand it over and saw that the shower door was open. “She said to the defendant ‘this is your towel’ and it was at that moment that the defendant grabbed her by the arm and his other hand grabbed her chin, and forcefully kissed her. “She said that she pushed him away but felt scared and ‘matamuli’. She nevertheless kept her job as she needed the money.
“The question of love and the request for the towel were themselves strange acts of an employer. “The complainant returned to work the following Monday at about 7 a.m. and claimed that on arrival she found the defendant lying on a bed in the living room; and that he then asked her to sit along side him and asked her to masturbate him. “She did so stating that she felt ashamed and scared but felt that she had to give way to him as she needed the job and money.
The defendant denied any act of misconduct.” In his conclusion, Justice Slicer accepted the evidence of the complainant. “The Court accepts the evidence of the complainant that the defendant had attempted to kiss her, had initially requested masturbation and oral sex,” Justice Slicer said.