A 23-YEAR-OLD man accused of raping a woman was yesterday released by High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo after he concurred with the three assessors' not guilty verdict on the two rape charges.
The man was accused of raping a 19-year-old girl who was visiting her aunt from Labasa.
He was charged with two counts of rape.
Throughout the five-day trial, the defendant opted to remain silent and also waived his right to counsel.
The complainant was staying with her aunty next to the flat of the defendant.
"I am so happy," he said.
"This matter had at one time stopped me from enjoying life because it was always haunting me."
The court heard that on March 18 last year, the defendant and complainant were drinking kava together at the defendant's flat in Raiwaqa.
They later went to a nightclub and after returning from the nightclub, the complainant claimed the defendant took her to his flat where he kept her locked from Saturday until Monday.
In summing up, Justice Temo said the complainant in her evidence said the defendant hid her in a cupboard after two police officers and her aunty came to the defendant's flat to look for her.
He said it was also in the evidence of the complainant that the defendant, on the next day, locked her up in his room and went to school and returned after 4pm, where he raped her again.
Justice Temo said there was no evidence that the complainant was forced to go to the defendant's bedroom.