Marital rape punishable by law, magistrate says


A MAGISTRATE clarified in court that marital rape is a crime and punishable by law for those who forced their spouses to have sex without consent.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar commented after finding sufficient evidence to commit Robert Agen to face trial in the National Court on two charges of causing grievous bodily harm and one charge of raping Alwinah Hennah Joku.
“There is an offence known as marital rape which is the act of sexual penetration of one’s own spouse without their consent and is punishable under the Criminal Code Act.
Spouses should be aware of that,” Bidar said.
It was alleged that Agen, 46, from Sinasina in Chimbu, after a heated argument with Joku over the phone, went and picked her forcefully at her workplace place at Gordon last April 30 and drove to Sogeri Road.
Arriving at Owers Corner at Sogeri, he allegedly started to assault her by whipping her back several times with his belt while accusing her of having an affair.
He then had sex with her without her consent.
The Committal Court at Waigani found sufficient evidence and made orders for Agen’s case to be listed for trial at the National Court on Sept 23 and for Agen to remain on bail until the matter was finalised.

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