Samoan seasonal worker denies rape and strangulation charges

A 22-year-old Samoan seasonal worker accused of raping and strangling a woman has denied the charges at a district court in New Zealand.

According to New Zealand media reports, Melota Metuala has elected trial by jury on the two charges.

Police allege the incident took place in Blenheim on September 14. 

Metuala, who was working in Marlborough on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, faces charges of sexual violation and intentionally impeding the breathing of his victim by applying pressure to her throat and neck.

His appearance at the Blenheim District Court was excused on Monday, as he had previously been granted electronically monitored bail to an Auckland address.

His lawyer Marcus Zintl entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf. 

Metuala, who requires a Samoan interpreter for appearances, first appeared on the two charges on September 18.

A case review hearing is scheduled to take place on March 4. 


Photo supplied