9 Mar 2012

Samoa plans to toughen penalties for sex crimes

6:25 pm on 9 March 2012

Samoa's draft crime bill calls for toughened penalties for sex crimes, particularly those committed against children and teenagers.

Rape by a woman of a man will be recognised, as will rape within a marriage.

Don Wiseman reports:

"The Samoa government has been overhauling the Crime Ordinance of 1961, with the aim to recognise offences not catered for or anticipated in the earlier bill. The Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, says the bill allows for charges over complex frauds, cybercrime, and transnational crimes such as people smuggling. He says it also provides for offences such as conspiracy to defeat justice, including witness intimidation. The Minister says the bill aims to put a stop to the increased sexual offending occurring within families, by an increase in penalties. In some cases the maximum penalty will double. Adultery and sodomy will remain chargeable offences."