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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, May 5) – A Papua New Guinea magistrate based on Karkar Island in Madang Province, has been jailed for 20 years for raping a minor in 2005.

Ruap Gemung, aged 55, was sentenced by the National Court after he was found guilty on two counts – one for rape and the other for sexual penetration of a child – under the Criminal Code.

The court, presided by Justice Cathy Davani during a recent court circuit, heard the girl was 14 at the time she was raped.

It heard in February 2005, Gemung had approached the young girl and later her parents seeking permission for her (the girl) to accompany him to town on a day trip to pick up his wife and daughter who were returning from Lae. He had also promised to take her shopping while in town for some second hand clothes.

Given the close relationship the girl’s parents, the father in particular who was a guard/cleaner at the Karkar District Court, shared with Gemung, the teenager was entrusted to his care. But the court heard that on arrival in town, the girl was taken instead to the Lutheran Guesthouse where she was raped later that evening by Gemung.

Justice Davani said the first count carried heavy penalties ranging from 15-25 years. She said having considered all evidence before the court, there was overwhelming evidence to convict Gemung.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Davani said the court had found beyond reasonable doubt he was guilty of both counts.

She also expressed concern the crime had been committed by a person representing the law and holding a position of trust.

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