High Court acquits man of rape charge

A MAN who was on trial for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl in 2016 was yesterday acquitted by High Court judge Justice Riyaz Hamza at the High Court in Suva.

Justice Hamza said he concurred with the unanimous not guilty opinions of the three assessors.

The man was initially charged with rape and sexual assault.

Justice Hamza said during the trial, the alleged victim had said she would visit the accused’s home to watch television or to buy iceblock.

He said the alleged victim claimed that on numerous occasions, the accused would sexually harass and even raped her.

He said the evidence that was presented by the alleged victim showed that she could have reported the alleged incident to her parents a couple of times but she chose not to.

In his judgment, Justice Hamza said the evidence presented also showed that the accused had terminated the employment of the alleged victim’s father.

Justice Hamza said the alleged victim had claimed that the accused had allegedly raped her a couple of times, but she had continuously changed the way she relayed her evidence in court.

He said he found the evidence given by the accused and the other defence witness credible. He said he found the man not guilty of the alleged offence and that the State had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

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