Alleged rapist out on bail

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A 21-YEAR-OLD man, charged with raping a 15-year-old girl, was released on K1,500 bail by the Waigani Committal Court despite the charge being noted as “serious”.
Magistrate Paul Nii released Melford William, from Banz’s Kumdi village in Jiwaka, as the prosecution did not object to bail yesterday.
“I am just reading the summary of facts and I am at paragraph three, the last sentence, which reads: she changed and was on her way back to her home. While walking, William grabbed her by her right hand and had his other hand on her mouth and pulled her away.
“The next sentence reads, then he forced her to lie on the ground.”
Police Prosecutor Sgt Joseph Sangam said: “I saw that and I talked to the investigating officer and the investigation officer did not mention any of such.
“She said it is okay for him to be released on bail and asked for some strict conditions.
Earlier, William’s lawyer applied for bail, saying that William was a first time offender, he was innocent and the relationship was consensual.
But Magistrate Nii said the last ground was irrelevant if the girl was a minor.
The two guarantors told the court that they would pay sureties of K500.
However, Magistrate Nii told them to pay K250 each as sureties since they had appeared in person and spoke about their relationship with William.
Magistrate Nii, after hearing submissions from defence lawyer and testimonies from the two guarantors, with no objection from prosecution, granted a K1,000 bail with the guarantors to post K250 each as sureties, giving a total bail amount of K1,500.
William was told to attend all his court hearings and not to interfere with the witness as his bail conditions.