Gang rape case begins in PNG

10:51 am on 24 March 2015

The trial of a group of men in Papua New Guinea, accused of raping an American scientist in 2013, has begun.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Post Courier newspaper reports the Madang National Court could not be reached for comment but Chief Superintendent Kalaut says the trial commenced last week.

The scientist had travelled to Karkar Island, accompanied by her husband and an official from the National Museum in Port Moresby, when she was allegedly raped by a group of men.

Police reports say the men robbed the group and tied up the husband before raping the woman and chopping off her hair.

Six young men aged in their twenties were arrested and recieved multiple charges.

The couple gave their evidence via online video conferencing last week.

The case has drawn public outcry, especially from women in Madang, who have demanded tougher penalties for rape.