A man accused of having sex with a young girl in the Cook Islands has been released on bail after spending three weeks in prison.
Noema Kauvarevai is charged with having sexual intercourse with a girl under 14 years of age, which carries a maximum of seven years in prison.
He is also charged with assaulting with intent, which carries a maximum of three years in prison.
HIs lawyer Norman George said there was no legal reason to hold the defendant in custody and he should be released so he could work and pay his legal fees.
In response to the assault charge, Mr George says the allegation was made by a drunken police officer who was punched by someone else.