By JIMMY KALEBE
A 47-YEAR-OLD man was jailed for 20 years by the National Court in Lae yesterday for molesting, sexually abusing and raping a minor over five years.
Henry Kunato, from Okapa’s Henegaru village in Eastern Highlands, committed the sexual acts against the minor between Jan 1, 2008, and March 15, 2015, when the girl was aged between seven and 15.
Justice Frazer Pitpit, in sentencing, used the court’s discretion to deduct 10 years of imprisonment on condition that:
- Kunato is of good behaviour while serving sentence;
- Kunato shall not interfere, threaten or harm the victim or her family members during the duration of his suspended sentence; and,
- In default, Kunato will be ordered to serve the suspended sentence in hard labour in Buimo Jail.
He further deducted three months, one week and two days for the time spent in custody and Kunato will serve a balance of nine years, eight months, two weeks and five days in hard labour in Buimo Jail.
The court heard that Kunato had in the period of five years occasionally forced the girl to perform oral sex on him, fondled her breasts and fondled the girl’s vagina with his penis.
The court also heard that Kunato also performed oral sex on the girl and showed her pornographic materials.
Kunato also tried to rape the girl several times but failed because the girl was too young. But on July 28, 2015, Kunato succeeded in raping the girl.
“The penalty for sexual abuse provided by law differs with the age of victims. The higher the age of the child, the lower the penalty. The lower the age of the child the higher the penalty. The intent of Parliament and the law is to deter rapists from sexually abusing minors or children.”