Official guilty of sex charges

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A JUDGE has found suspended Commerce and Industry Department secretary Andrew Liliura guilty of three sex-related charges relating to a senior female officer he worked with.
Acting judge Justice Laura Kuvi said the evidence submitted by complainant Joyce Ding, the department’s public relations officer, was independently corroborated by State witnesses.
Liliura faced four counts of sexual touching, three counts of sex and two counts of compel to touch.
The State alleged that between June 1 and June 30, 2018, Ding went into Liliura’s office on a business matter, and was subjected to a kiss and a pinch on the buttock.
Then in June 2018, Liliura told Ding that he wanted to have sex with her.
Then on April 2, 2019, he put his arms around her from behind in his office and said: “When we go to China, I will have you.”
Justice Kuvi found Liliura guilty of sexually assaulting Ding.
“In relation to the charge of sexual assault, I am satisfied that all the elements are made out. The accused touched her buttock without her consent,” she said.
In relation to the indecent act, Justice Kuvi said there was no definition of the charge in the Criminal Code.
She said it was an office environment.
“The accused was the department head and his statements were for the sexual gratification of himself,” she said.
“Such words will not be acceptable in any office by the head of an organisation directed at any female subordinate.
“I am satisfied that the State has established that the words (Liliura) used in counts two and three were sexual in nature and any reasonable person will be offended or insulted by that.”
Justice Kuvi noted that the circumstances surrounding Ding’s reporting was quite different from the other two complainants, Rebecca Yakopa, the department’s librarian and Magie Guants.
“I find that the foregoing demonstrated that their evidence were tailored to give support to Joyce Ding,” she said.
She acquitted Liliura on the counts relating to the complaints by Yakopa and Guants, but convicted him on the three counts relating to Ding.
The matter returns to court on Feb 8 for sentencing submission.