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Alleged rapist granted bail, matter heads to High Court

Friday 3 March 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in


Alleged rapist granted bail,  matter heads to High Court
Cook Islands High Court. Photo: Sian Solomon/21110511

The Criminal Court yesterday granted bail to a man facing charges of sex with a minor and rape.

A man with interim name suppression facing charges of sex with a minor and rape, appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta in the Criminal Court in Avarua on Thursday

The man was initially represented by defence lawyer Mark Short, but the Court was advised that Michele Tangimama was taking over the matter.

JP Whitta noted that his starting point was to decline bail, but then felt he had to take into consideration the likelihood that the matter would not make to the High Court until September.

“There is likely to be a considerable delay, and there is no prior history of convictions,” JP Whitta said.

The man’s bail conditions included not to interfere with or make contact with the victim or witnesses, not to leave the Cook Islands, not to leave his residence between 7pm and 6am, and not to enter licenced premises or consume alcohol.

“These conditions must be kept to,” JP Whitta said.

“If you breach it, it is unlikely you will be granted bail again.”

In another matter, an Aitutaki man charged with attempted rape is likely to appear in the High Court later this year.

Teau Moana Tangi Taratiti faces charges of attempted rape and unlawfully found on a premises.

He is yet to enter a plea to either charge.

JP Whitta informed Taratiti that he needed to get legal representation, and needed to get a Rarotonga address if he was to be reminded on bail.

Taratiti was remanded in custody until these matters can be addressed. 

He was told the matter was likely to go to the High Court later this year.