By BEVERLY PETER
A 50-YEAR-OLD man was found guilty by the National Court for three counts of raping a 14-year-old girl in December 2018.
Justice Joseph Yagi Joe fixed Wednesday for submission and sentencing.
When asked by Justice Yagi, Kelly Joe, from Chimbu, said: “I am sorry for the victim, her family and the court for my action.”
“This is my first time before this court and I will make this the last time. Please have mercy on me.”
Justice Jagi said: “I have heard your plea for this court’s mercy and will take it into consideration.”
Lawyer Marcy Tamate, from the public prosecutors’ office urged the court to impose an appropriate sentence of 15 to 17 years’ jail.
“Sexual abuse of minors is becoming prevalent in our community. The offence is serious and he is guilty with three counts of raping a child. There is also a breach of trust as the victim is Joe’s neighbour.”
The court heard that at 10pm on Dec 15, 2018, in Bush Wara settlement at 9-Mile, Joe went to the girl’s house to sell a tablet phone.
The victim’s father bought the phone and the girl followed Joe to his house to get the phone.
Joe led the victim to the back and raped her.
The girl later returned home and reported the matter to her parents who lodged a police report. Joe was arrested on Dec 15, 2020 and has been in custody since.
Tamate said violence was involved as Joe used force on the girl who suffered trauma as reported in a medical report and police evidence.
David Kayok, a lawyer from the office of public solicitor in his submission on sentence, said Joe should receive a 12-year jail sentence considering his age and that he was a first-time offender.
“We understand that the maximum penalty for raping a child as in this case is 25 years. In our submission, we are also considering that Joe has three children, first time offender, and that Joe and his family are willing to pay compensation and make peace with the girl’s family,” he said.
“Furthermore, Joe is already in custody for two years and 11 months and for that, we ask the court to deduct time spent and part of the jail term using discretion.”
Tamate said: “We have also taken into consideration that Joe’s family is willing to make compensation and make peace with the girl’s family which the girl’s family has agreed.
“But if this happens, we submit that this may not be considered in reducing the weight of the penalty.
“But it is up to the court to impose a proper penalty with regard to Section 19 of the Constitution.”
By BEVERLY PETER