Court frees man of rape charges

Picture: FILE

THE High Court in Labasa overturned the guilty opinion by assessors and acquitted a 58-year-old man accused of raping an 18-year-old girl.

High Court Judge Justice Vinsent Perera said prosecution had failed to prove the two disputed elements involving consent beyond reasonable doubt.

“Considering all the circumstances, I have concluded that the complainant’s evidence regarding the manner the accused and her has sexual intercourse is also unreliable,” he said.

“Given all the evidence led in this case and the complainant’s demeanour and deportment when she gave evidence, I did not find the evidence given by the complainant to be credible and reliable.

“However, in my judgment, the evidence presented in this case does not establish the offence of rape beyond reasonable doubt.

“I find the accused not guilty of rape and hereby acquit him accordingly.”

The court heard that in June last year, the accused allegedly raped the 18-year-old student after allegedly pulling her into the bush.

Justice Perera, however, described the alleged act as deplorable according to moral standards.

The man was represented by Ami Kohli while the prosecution by Inia Rakaria

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