Woman sues police over alleged rape

National, Normal


A WOMAN who was allegedly raped when she was 13 has sued the police and the State for alleged negligence.
Lawyers representing the girl and her parents have filed the case in the Mt Hagen National Court, and a hearing is expected soon.
The case is believed to be the first of its kind, and involves testing the power and independence of the constabulary in releasing suspects held for serious offences such as rape without being charged.
Lawyers, who filed the papers, asked that the identity of the girl and her parents, who are plaintiffs in the case, not be made public.
The alleged rape incident took place in 2001 in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands province, when the girl was13 and in Grade Six.
It is alleged that she was abducted and raped by two men.
Court documents say both suspects were captured by the girl’s relatives, at different times, and brought to the police station to be charged.
But police released the suspects without charging them, and the girl’s relatives were not informed why they were released.
The plaintiffs claim there was overwhelming evidence to charge the suspects, but that did not happen.
The plaintiffs supplied a medical report which, they say, confirmed the girl was raped.
After the alleged rape, the girl suffered trauma and had to withdraw from school after she was ridiculed by her classmates.
She is now about 21 and living in the village with her parents.
Alan Kundi, who was the provincial police commander at the time, was also named as a defendant.
The plaintiffs claim that police had not diligently and professionally discharged the duty bestowed on them by the Constitution (sections 196, 197 and 198) and the Arrest Act 1977, and the perpetrators were allowed to walk free while the victim was made to suffer.