Officers found guilty in condom-swallowing case


TWO police officers were found guilty of forcing a woman to chew and swallow condoms in 2015.
Probationary officers Joshua Yawijah, 25, from Southern Highland’s Pangia, and Jacklyn Tanda, 26, from Enga’s Wabag, were found guilty yesterday by the National Court in Bomana, Port Moresby.
Justice Panuel Mogish, who found the duo guilty of one count of unlawful deprivation of personal liberty, two counts of forcing a person to do indecent acts and one count of abuse of office and set April 25 for sentencing.
Mogish ruled that the main disputing factor in the case was their identity but “there is compelling evidence against them because the victim was able to identify them without doubt”.
“Also, according to the police duty roster, they were the only officers on duty at the time of the offence. I find the woman’s statement acceptable. She was not shaken during cross-examination and she was confident and sure when identifying the two accused,” Mogish said.
“They were (also) the only officers on night duty at the Boroko Police Station on Dec 4, 2015, when they committed the offence.
“The woman alleged that she was attending a party at Sky 9 Club at Boroko the previous night and was on her way to catch a taxi home in the early hours of the morning when she met two men.
“They were dressed as civilians and asked if she had any money. She said she did not have any money. They then told her that they were police officers and brought her into the station.
“They told her to sit while they emptied her purse and found some condoms.
“Yawijah then asked her if she was a sex worker and how many men she had slept with. He then forced her to eat a condom and swallow it. She said it was not for eating and she would not do as they say.
“Yawijah then grabbed an iron bar and hit it on the table and threatened her, so she ate the first one. Tanda did not do anything to stop it but instead laughed and filmed a video clip.
“The woman was then told to chew and swallow another condom and she did while Tanda laughed and took videos of her. The videos went viral on social media and sparked a lot of speculation.”
Tanda, in her defence, said she was at the scene but did not do anything.
Yawijah said he was not the offender because he was in Southern Highlands at that time.
Mogish, however, refused their denial and said he accepted the woman’s statement plus the police investigator’s report.
He said Tanda “admitted being at the scene”, and according to the police report, she was the only female officer on duty on Dec 4, and the victim also identified her.
“The victim said you were laughing while taking the video, which I accept, because your voice was also recorded in the video,” Mogish said.
Mogish said Yawijah was not in Southern Highlands at that time because his name was on the duty roster from Dec 4 to 7, and he booked a flight to Mt Hagen on Dec 9.