Sep 23, 2016

Leader of Fiji religious sect found guilty of rape

September 23, 2016

The leader of a religious sect in Fiji has been found guilty of four counts of rape by court assessors.

75-year-old Iowane Vakadranu has been on trial at the High Court in Suva, and this afternoon three assessors returned to give the unanimous guilty verdict.

Vakadranu is the founder of the Labasa-based religious group 'Back to Eden,' which Fiji Village reports is a breakaway of the Seventh Day Adventist church.

He was found to have convinced teenage followers to have sex with him as requirement of the church between 2012 and 2014, saying that it would prepare them for a mission to preach the word of God.

Vakadranu also convinced members of the group to leave school, and to go to him rather than a hospital when they were ill.

It is unclear whether the group is still operating.

Justice Perera will deliver his final judgement on Monday.

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