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Sex man kills self

12-25-2007 Fijii:

AN elderly man accused of molesting a seven-year-old girl is dead after what police believe was a suicide.

The 79-year-old was arrested by police on Saturday night for his own safety after tensions mounted in his home village of Kasavu, in Naitasiri, when word got out that he was a suspect in the sex assault case.

The man was found hanging in his bedroom at noon on Sunday.

Police spokesman Suliano Tevita said the death occurred before their own investigations could begin into the sex assault.

"We had interviewed the suspect on Saturday and taken his statement down before releasing him," he said yesterday.

"The suspect was not charged after the interview and further investigation was to take place but his body was found on Sunday at about 12pm."

Cpl Tevita said he understood that tensions were high in the village but there was no report of the villagers confronting the suspect.

A post mortem examination completed late yesterday confirmed that the elderly man committed suicide and died as a result of asphyxiation.

Asked why the man was released when he was initially arrested for his own safety, Cpl Tevita said they had insufficient evidence to lay charges.

He said the suspect had been accused of molesting the girl in his home while her parents were watching DVDs in a separate room.

The girl had accompanied her parents to the suspect's home to watch films and later that evening the child told her father about the suspect who reported the matter to police. Police said the case would now be closed because the main suspect had died, the procedure in such cases. ..more.. by HAROLD KOI

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