Man acquitted of rape charge
7 September, 2022, 4:33 pm
A Taveuni man charged with rape and sexual assault walked free last month after the High Court in Labasa acquitted him of all charges.
Rajend Kumar, who was represented by Labasa lawyer Amrit Sen, was charged with rape and sexual assault two years ago.
It was alleged he committed the offences against the victim’s consent.
He appeared virtually before High Court judge Justice Siainiu Fa’alogo-Bull who said the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt – any of the charges in the information.
“I do not feel sure of the accused person’s guilt. The benefit of the doubt must go to him and he is acquitted accordingly,” she said.
“The complainant was the prosecution’s only witness.
“The accused did not give evidence and he is not obliged to do so.
“He called two witnesses in his defence and even if I reject the evidence of the defence witnesses, still the prosecution case must prove the accused person’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
The court heard that on July 26, 2020, Mr Kumar offered a ride to the alleged victim after she told him that she had no transport to travel to Narusa on Taveuni island.
The court heard that on their way, the alleged offences took place and were reported to the police a day after by the victim’s aunt after she (victim) failed to turn up on time at Narusa.