BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
RELATIVES of the late Mary Aram, 8 who was allegedly raped and murdered on Kolombangara Island last month says lenient court rulings on rape cases in the country are sending the wrong signals to rapists.
And as such, they demand that punishment for similar crimes committed on their daughter and other victims to start at 50 years to life imprisonment.
The call was made by John Aram- Kealau, uncle of the late Mary during a public demonstration held on Thursday to remember and call for justice in the case of the young child and those who met the same fate over the years.
Mr Kealau said they are appalled knowing that rape cases over the years have finished with light sentences handed out of between 1-5 years imprisonment for these offenders.
“Our society is sending the wrong message to rapists and persons with sick minds.
“We are saying it’s okay to rape, and you can get away with only 2 years, 5 years or 8 years.
“This is insane!!… a girl is traumatized for her life-time and yet the rapists are going to walk free in just a few years,” he added.
Mr, Kealau said as relatives of late Mary, they are appealing to the government and lawmakers to make amendments and begin sentences of rape cases from 50 years or life imprisonment with no release on parole.
“We further call on attempted rape cases and defilement case sentencing to start at 20 years or more.
He said the country must be serious to save the lives of our children and women from these people, who are not even worthy to be called humans.
“Let’s start sending a message that the justice system in this country cannot let rapists go free,” he remarked.