The National, Monday, May 16, 2011
A PAPUA New Guinean paralympic athlete has been described as a paedophilia when he was jailed last Thursday in Darwin, Australia, for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl at the Arafura Games.
In a news that had shocked the PNG team management, track and field athlete Edward Ilau, 24, pleaded guilty in a Darwin magistrates court for indecently assaulting the girl last Wednesday.
Police prosecutor Justene Dwyer told magistrate Daynor Trigg that Ilau – who has cerebral palsy – “squeezed” the girl’s breast three times at the stadium, according to ntnews.com.au. Dwyer said Ilau had finished his field events for the games when he noticed the girl walking through the gates at about 6pm.
She said that Ilau called out to the girl: “Hey you, come over here.”
She said Ilau wanted to have a photo taken with her.
“The victim agreed and followed (him) up the stairs of the arena,” she said.
She said Ilau and the girl were standing on the first platform and another man continued up to the second platform with a camera.
“(Ilau) moved close to the victim and put his arm around her shoulder,” she said.
Dwyer said that Ilau grabbed the girl’s breast three times, “causing pain”, before he let her go.
She said the girl immediately told her mother what had happened.
Ilau’s defence lawyer Matt Hubber said Ilau was “skylarking” with his mates when he touched the girl.
“It was a spontaneous act,” he said.
But magistrate Trigg said what Ilau did was a “criminal act” that could be described as “paedophilia”.
“The defendant abused the girl’s innocence,” he said.
Hubber said Ilau came from a poor coconut farming family in rural PNG and had only attended school for one year of his life.
“He lives a very basic life,” he said.
But Trigg said what was considered wrong in PNG was also considered wrong in Australia.
“I’m not going to have him on the streets of Darwin,” he said.
Trigg sentenced Ilau to one month jail, suspended after seven days, but said he would most likely be deported from Australia once released, ntnews reported.
PNG Paralympic committee president Bernard Chan said he was devastated at the news of Ilau’s jailing and would be making a formal statement during the week.
PNG Paralympic assistant team manager Rosemary Mawe said it was an incident that had shamed not only the Paralympic team but all PNG athletes as well.
She stressed that all athletes had been given strict instructions on behaviour and what was expected of them at the games and it was “unfortunate” that one had abused this trust.