Priest to be tried for rape

The National [Papua New Guinea]

July 9, 2021

By Sylvester Wemuru

CATHOLIC priest Stannis Tipong Jr, 35, was committed by the Madang District Court to stand trial in the National Court for allegedly sexually harassing and raping four girls aged between 14 and 16.

Senior Magistrate Fredolin Kambibel on Monday found that there was sufficient evidence to commit Tipong, from Bogia’s Aidibal village, to stand trial in the National Court for the alleged charges.

The court heard that between Dec 31, 2018, and July 31, 2019, Tipong, who served in Halopa Catholic Mission as a priest, allegedly sexually harassed and raped the four girls on numerous occasions in his house.

After going through the police file and submissions from Police Prosecutor First Const Eugine Vinai, Tipong was committed to stand trial in the National Court.

According to a police brief, Tipong had allegedly been using force to rape the girls when he invited them to his house to do dishes or cook for him.

According to witness statements, Tipong warned the girls not to tell anyone after raping them, but the girls were brave enough to tell their teachers and relatives, who reported Tipong to the police.

On Oct 17, 2019, Tipong was formally arrested and charged with 10 counts of abuse of trust, authority or dependency under section 229E (1) and one count of sexual penetration of a child under Section 229A (1) (3) of the Criminal Code (Sexual Offences and Crime against Children) Act 2002.

He appeared in court while out on bail from the National Court.