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8 youths free to go

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

EIGHT youths allegedly accused of raping a girl at a village in Cakaudrove last year, have been found not guilty by the High Court in Labasa.

The youths appeared before Justice Janaka Bandara on a count each of rape and denied the charges last Friday.

The court heard that between January 2 and 3, 2013 at the village, the youths allegedly penetrated the victim one at a time without her consent.

In handing down his judgement, Justice Bandara said the victim admitted that she did not raise alarm or cried for help or attempted to run away, even though all the doors and windows of the ghetto were open.

"She (victim) agreed that the neighbourhood would have come to her help had she raised alarm," he said.

"The probability factor of the victim's narration not to raise alarm or cry for help or disclose her experience to somebody as soon as practically possible, doesn't echo in favour of her.

"It's a totally opposite response to a normal human conduct when considering the nature of a girl who was actively interacting with the society, especially hovering around the village even at midnight and being sexually-active."

"The prosecution did not establish beyond reasonable doubt that she did not consent to have sexual intercourse with the accused.

"I see no point going beyond this to consider the versions of the accused. All eight accused are found not guilty to the charge of rape contrary to section 207 (1) (2) (a) of the Crime Decree 2009 and acquitted accordingly."

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