Police Officer in PNG jailed for raping detainee

A policeman in Papua New Guinea's Madang Province has been jailed for 10 years with hard labour for raping a woman  detained at a locel cell in 2012.
Judge David Cannings sentenced First Constable Henry Levo, 47 and from Lese Aviara village in Malalaua in Gulf, to serve his time at Beon jail in Madang.
The sentence was passed on Wednesday after a battle that lasted two-and-a-half years.
Levo was on duty as shift supervisor at the Jomba police station when he committed the office on the night of Nov 20, 2012.
The victim was in custody on a charge of misappropriation at the time when there was no separate lock-up for women detainees.
She was given permission on several occasions to stay outside the main lock-up because she felt uncomfortable with male detainees.
According to Cannings findings from the trial, the victim was permitted to go out of the lock-up when relatives brought her food. After having her meal, Levo forced her to the back of the cell and raped her.
The court said the victim, from East Sepik and Gulf, tried to escape the next day but was caught by police.
Levo said he gave her K1000 as compensation in the presence of the probation officers. He said the victim was contacting him for financial assistance.
“Last year I gave K500 and this year I helped her with K200 and K150, she agreed to accept further compensation so that I remain in the police force. I recently gave her K700, I have given a total of K2350, I will pay her more if given a chance,” Levo told the court.
Despite Levo’s plea of being a first-time offender and how much he already assisted the victim, Cannings passed 10 years with hard labour imprisonment on him.
Cannings said Levo committed an extremely serious crime of which victims were not only the woman he raped but all the good members of the police force who had never committed such offences or contemplated what he (Levo) would do. 
“He has disgraced his uniform, he has undermined public confidence in the constabulary,” Cannings said.

Pacific Flash/ The National

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