By ELIZABETH VUVU
A NATIONAL Court judge has expressed gratitude to a rape victim in New Ireland province for openly presenting her case as many Papua New Guineans facing such, suffered in silence.
Justice Graham Ellis said this in a recent rape case when sentencing Phillip Kombu, 44, of Kaselok village in Kavieng to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for engaging in aggravated rape with his step-daughter on Oct 11 last year.
Justice Ellis thanked the victim for having the courage and confidence by coming out clear and reporting to appropriate authorities, resulting in him facing the full force of law.
He said there were many women who went through such ordeals and were still living in fear, keeping quiet because of threats and the dread of being humiliated.
Kombu was found guilty of raping his stepdaughter at Kaselok village.
The court heard that Kombu forcefully had sexual intercourse with the victim without her consent and medical reports also presented to the National Court contradicted evidence given by Kombu in defence.
The victim’s mother, in her statement when addressing the court, said Kombu not only destroyed her daughter’s reputation but also affected her well-being physically and mentally.
The victim had refused to continue on with her studies in fear of being humiliated by her school mates, friends and the people in the community.
Justice Ellis said Kombu not only raped his step-daughter but used her as a prostitute by offering her money after committing the crime.