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Sex video blackmail case judgement rendered in Samoa

District Court Judge, Her Honour Mata Tuatagaloa, has scolded four people over sharing a sex video, which had been the subject of a $400 blackmail attempt.

The video, filmed in Samoa, shows a couple having intercourse.

In Court, Her Honour Tuatagaloa asked one of the male defendants how he would have felt if he had opened the video and saw that it was his sister that had been filmed. He and the other three defendants – including a girl - were silent.

“The first thing a person thinks about is whether they would be happy if it was them,” asked Judge Tuatagaloa. “That was a private act between two consensual adults.”

The four youths appeared in the District Court on Wednesday morning, accused of indecent publication. They were told to consider the embarrassment their actions caused. The defendants’ names cannot be published as a result of their close relationship to the victim.

The complainant’s name and village cannot be published for the same reason. According to Police Summary of Facts, five defendants were initially charged in relation to this matter. The charges stem from sending a video clip via Bluetooth of the complainant and her former boyfriend engaged in sex.

The clip was filmed in a hotel in Apia between 1st and 31 July 2013, the Court heard.

The Court heard that following the filming of the clip, the complainant’s boyfriend tried to blackmail her into paying him $400 for the clip or he would give it to one of her cousins that works at a video store.

The complainant refused to pay the money. Instead, she visited her cousin at the video store, asking her to help find a way to delete the clip from her boyfriend’s phone.

This worker is the first defendant in the matter. She told the complainant to leave it with her and she would deal with the matter.

The next day, she contacted the complainant’s boyfriend and asked him to bring over the clip so that they can watch it. The boyfriend went over to see the first defendant and sent the clip to her via Bluetooth.

She then sent it to a male cousin, the second defendant, who sent it to another, the third defendant, and another, the fourth defendant, resulting in it reaching the fifth defendant.

The eldest defendant, a female of 29, told the Court that she did not send the clip to anyone else. As a result she was discharged without conviction by Judge Tuatagaloa.

In passing sentence over the other four, she told them that it was obvious they enjoyed watching such video clips.

But did any of them ever consider what they would feel if they were in that clip? She asked the second defendant who sent it to other male friends if he considered what his feelings would be if he turned the video clip on and found that it was his sister that had been filmed.



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