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Women testify in rape trial

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TWO witnesses yesterday testified in a rape trial involving a teacher and student.

Praneet Reddy is charged with a count of rape and an alternative count of defilement of a girl aged between 13 and 16. He is alleged to have raped a fifth former in 2011.

The victim, who will be 19 this year, told the High Court in Suva that on March 11, 2011, she and a friend went to the male staff quarters to buy noodles from Mr Reddy.

The victim said at the quarters, she saw Mr Reddy and another teacher sitting down.

She said she and her friend sat down and then Mr Reddy told her to go to his room.

She said Mr Reddy followed her into the room and told her to stand in a corner.

She said Mr Reddy then attempted to have sex with her but she refused.

She said he held her hand and pushed her onto a mattress on the floor and proceeded to rape her. She said after the incident, she came out of the room and left with her friend.

She told her friend what happened and relayed the incident to the vice-principal the next day.

Defence lawyer Avinesh Reddy asked the witness why the matter was reported 25 days later.

The victim admitted she was suspended from school and that she only alleged rape because she was scared. She said she was worried about getting pregnant.

Her friend who accompanied her to the house also gave evidence saying the accused had held the victim by her hands and taken her inside his room. She said she did not see what was happening in the room as the door was closed but she heard "banging sounds on the floor".

She told the court after they left the quarters, the victim had shown her marks allegedly made on her neck by the accused.

The case continues today.

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