Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fiji: Assailant Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Rape, Assault, Robbery of Australian Couple

According to, Fijian Pauliasi Yasa was sentenced to 15 years in prison on March 8, for the rape of an Australian tourist and the severing of the wrist of her husband who came to her defense on February 6, 2012, in Beqa.

Yasa robbed the young couple, and later raped the victim. When the woman's husband came to his wife's aid, the assailant attacked the husband with a long-bladed knife, severing the Australian's wrist.

COMMENT: High Court Judge Paul Madigan emphasized during sentencing that the extenuating circumstances (i.e., loss of the husband's future employment opportunities) in the case and the wife's emotional fear of Pacific islanders led to a 13-year prison term without parole.

The defendant had been charged with rape, aggravated robbery and causing grievous bodily harm.

One lesson learned in this case is the absolute importance that all foreign travelers subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage in the event they are seriously injured or become ill while traveling in developing countries. Otherwise, victims may face an undue financial hardship in those destinations where treatment is contingent on the basis of one's ability to pay for treatment before the fact.

It should be noted that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does warn Australian citizens of the risk of violent crime and sexual assault in Suva. Bega is a short distance from the capital.

As I have said in a number of postings over the years, it is essential that travelers thoroughly research violent crime at their destination before selection.

The couple that was victimized in this case could not have known that they would be targeted in Fiji, and have their lives changed forever. 

Nevertheless, it essential that all travelers specifically research "violent crime" at their destination and raise security deterrents with the management of where they will be staying.