Former Fiji 7s player, Amenoni Nasilasila has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for raping a 24-year-old woman on 22nd December last year.
The incident took place at a settlement in Sigatoka.
High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar overturned the not guilty opinion of the three assessors and convicted 27-year-old Nasilasila for a count of rape last month.
Justice Goundar has set a non-parole period of six years.
While sentencing Nasilasila, Justice Goundar stated that the woman had told the court that she was subjected to victimisation on social media by Nasilasila's fans after she had accused him of rape but did not suggest that Nasilasila was personally responsible for the actions of his fans.
Justice Goundar says the woman blames Nasilasila's status as a sports celebrity for the attacks on her by Nasilasila's fans.
The Judge says that it is a sad predicament on our society to further victimise the woman because Nasilasila is a sports celebrity.
Justice Goundar further said that Nasilasila's status as a sports celebrity is neither a mitigating nor an aggravating factor and he will be treated like any other ordinary citizen.
The woman who lives in USA had told the court that she first met Nasilasila in 2017 when he came to USA as part of the Fiji Sevens Rugby team and thereafter they had been in contact with each other on social media.
She said it was a friendship relationship.
She said she came to Fiji in July last year to visit her family and was scheduled to return on 22nd December, last year.
The woman told the court that on the same afternoon she was to fly out to the US, Nasilasila turned up at her aunt's residence at a settlement in Sigatoka and raped her.
The 24-year-old had also told the court that she could smell alcohol on Nasilasila.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.