By JULIA DAIA BORE
ENGA resident judge Justice Graham Ellis says it is a sad day for this country when people cannot safely leave their home for morning exercise without becoming a victim of crime.
“People need to exercise to stay healthy and live longer. That is all this lady intended to do on Oct 13, 2008, when you attacked her, threatened to kill her and raped her,” Justice Ellis said when sentencing father of four George Naipat, 34, in Wabag on Tuesday.
“Since this victim lives in another country, you have also damaged the reputation of PNG in that country,” he said.
Naipat was found guilty of raping a 61-year-old American anthropology professor working in Enga province and was sentenced to 20 years jail with hard labour.
Justice Ellis said: “It is a woman’s basic right to decide with whom she wants to have sexual intercourse. When that right is violated, she cannot help but feel she has lost control of her life.
“Worse, she feels she has become a possession which can be used by another person when they feel like it. This is not only embarrassing and humiliating but also frightening. Instead of choosing sexual intercourse as an act of love, this victim had to submit to sexual intercourse in order to stay alive.
“To add insult to injury, after the ordeal was over, and the victim would like to have been able to put the incident behind her, it was necessary for her to travel half way around the world and confront her attacker by giving the evidence which resulted in the conviction of this rapist.
“From the conviction, the victim should gain comfort that her attacker has been brought to justice and that he will not, for a lengthy period, be able to rape another woman. It is hoped that the victim will be able to gain a sense of closure which will help her memories of this ordeal fade,” he said.
He said it was regretful that a lady who, as defence counsel conceded, “sacrificed her life to serve the people of this province” received this treatment in return for the time and effort she devoted to the people of PNG in general and the people of Enga in particular.