A MAN who was charged with raping his step-daughter was acquitted by the National Court in Madang last Friday.
According to court documents, the man, from Karkar Island, Madang province, was caring for the girl after marrying her mother.
The court heard that in 2005 when the girl was in Grade Eight, a sexual relationship began between the pair and continued for two years. She is now 18.
In 2007, an uncle of the girl became suspicious after he saw the man coming out of the girl’s room.
The girl then told her mother that she had been raped by her step-father.
But the accused told the court that the relationship was consensual and they had had sex three to four times a month for two years.
Justice Ere Kariko, when handing down his decision, said it was a case of gross abuse of trust by the father because in PNG culture, she was regarded as his daughter.
He then acquitted the accused and refunded his bail on the ground that it was a consensual sexual relationship.