8 years for child abuse

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By TREVOR WAHUNE
A MAN employed as a babysitter has been sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl — the latest in a series of cases involving assaults on children.
Justice Panuel Mogish told Tom Marikapi, 37, he had breached the trust put on him by the parents to look after the girl and her siblings while they were away.
“A home is a place where security and safety are guaranteed. It would be the least location for a crime to be committed,” he said.
“Many families employ babysitters to look after the children while they go to work. They put a lot of faith in their babysitter to ensure that their children are protected. (Marikapi) breached their trust.”
Marikapi told the court he committed the offence out of frustration because he had never been paid for the work he had been doing for the family.
But Justice Mogish said a custodial sentence was called for. He, however, pointed out that “this is not the worst case”.
He said it was not as serious as the one where a father had abused his daughter over 12 years, starting when she was six. Justice Mogish jailed him for 80 years.
In a separate case yesterday, Justice Mogish ordered a man to pay K1000 in compensation to his niece for hitting her head with a piece of timber during an argument four years ago. He also imposed a suspended five-year sentence on Daniel Yangis, 49, from Ambunti, in East Sepik, on the condition that he be on good behaviour for two years.
Recent cases of assault on children include:

  • a grade 8 student allegedly raped by her teacher on Dec 27 in Southern Highlands;
  • a three-year girl raped in Western Highlands;
  • a father jailed for 30 years for sexually abusing his daughter over two years; and
  • An eight-year-old girl raped last year in Port Moresby.

Waigani District Court Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said recently that he had already dealt with 10 cases involving assaults on children.

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