Man acquitted of rape charge

A 26-YEAR-OLD man walked out of the High Court in Suva yesterday a free man.

This was after High Court judge Justice Vinsent Perera concurred with the unanimous not guilty opinions of the assessors and acquitted the man of one count of rape and an alternative charge of defilement.

In his judgment, Justice Perera said the statement given by the complainant during the trial was inconsistent and not reliable.

He said after assessing all the evidence given during the trial, he found that the sexual intercourse between the accused and the victim was consensual.

For the alternative charge of defilement, Justice Perera said the accused had reasonable cause to believe that the victim was over the age of 16 when the alleged incident took place.

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