BOUGAINVILLE LAWMAKER GETS SUSPENDED SENTENCE

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Convicted of sexual harassment

By Augustine Kinna

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 2, 2008) – Member for Tsitalato constituency in the Bougainville House of Representatives Hilary Larish was convicted and sentenced to five-year imprisonment for sexual harassment.

The sentence, however, was suspended and Larish was placed on good behaviour bond for a year.

Larish, 60, from Malansang village in Buka, was charged after a woman complained that he sexually harassed her.

The court heard that Jocelyn Holanie, of Lonahan village, had gone to the office of the accused to seek help in obtaining money for school fees.

While the two were in the office discussing her problem, Larish made sexual advances at her and touched parts of her body.

The woman complained to police and Larish was arrested.

He appeared before the National Court in Buka last week and pleaded guilty to touching the woman and sexually harassing her.

Larish was given a five-year sentence which was suspended, on condition that he pays the woman K1,000 [US$385.37] in compensation within a month and be placed on good behaviour bond for a year.

He expressed remorse for his action, saying what he did was improper considering the position he holds.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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