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Judge acquits man

Shalveen Chand
Saturday, March 29, 2014

A SECURITY officer was acquitted of rape yesterday — a day after assessors returned with a guilty opinion.

Lepani Likunitoga walked a free man after Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam said sex between the accused and the complainant was consensual.

In his judgement, Justice Kumararatnam said the accused was on night duty at the Suva Flea Market on December 26, 2012.

"In the early hours of the day, a couple came in front of the market and started to hug each other.

Seeing this, he called the couple inside Flea Market as it is a dangerous area. Both came inside climbing over the wall," he said.

"He then gave them a carton to lie down on and went away to perform his duty. When he returned after a while, he saw the couple having sex.

"After sex, the couple started to talk and he told them to leave the place.

"But the girl was short of money. He overheard the boy telling the girl to find her own way.

"At that time, the accused proposed sex for money from the couple.

"After consulting with the boy, the girl voluntarily came and sat on the carton."

Justice Kumararatnam said this clearly showed consent.

"The offence of rape is made out only if there was no consent from the victim. But in this case, a serious doubt has been created.

"Therefore, I acquit the accused from the charge."

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