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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 15) – Two former Fiji national athletics representatives have been put behind bars in the United States of America for defiling 16-year-old girls.

They are former Fiji sprint champ and U.S. Eagles 7s rugby representative Jovesa Naivalu and middle-distance runner Soloveni Koroi.

Sources in the U.S. said the two were arrested in May 2003. Naivalu was reportedly arrested for defiling his 16-year-old girlfriend. The victim’s relative came to know about the defilement and reported it to police. He was charged and put behind bars for seven years.

Koroi from Naitasiri province, who is believed to have overstayed in the U.S., has been charged with rape and defilement of another 16-year-old. A source Fijilive spoke to confirmed Koroi was slapped with a nine-year jail term and will be deported back to Fiji after serving his term.

Naivalu is a U.S. citizen, while Koroi has been overstaying since 2000.

He entered the U.S. in 1997 through an athletics scholarship from the Fiji Institute of Sports, which was fully funded by the Ministry of Sports to study and train in a university in California.

It is believed Koroi failed to excel academically and dropped out early from the program. He should have returned in 2000 but overstayed his visa.

February 16, 2006


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