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Judge Finds Ex Cop Guilty Of Rape

Judge Finds Ex Cop Guilty Of Rape
Found guilty of rape, Michael Shalendra Pratap. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
January 31
11:49 2017

A Suva Judge has found a former Police officer guilty of three counts each of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Justice Vincent Perera said he accepted the complainant’s evidence that on January 22, 2016, the accused, Michael Shalendra Pratap, raped a teenage girl at an old gym in Nasese.

Last Friday, the three assessors in the trial found Pratap guilty of all rape charges and guilty of an alternative count of indecent assault.

Justice Perera said he also accepted the complainant’s version where she said in her testimony that she was kept in the gym for an hour while Pratap committed the sexual acts on her.

It was further heard in court that the alibi witness was unreliable, and that Pratap knew that the complainant did not consent.

“Each rape count is proven beyond reasonable doubt,” Justice Perera said.

Defence lawyer of the Legal Aid Commission, Mohammed Yunus, in mitigation submitted on behalf of the accused that his client be given a concurrent sentence because he was still paying for his house.

He further said that he did not agree with the State prosecution’s submission where they stated that Pratap had breached the trust of the complainant.

Mr Yunus further said there was no evidence that showed the victim was afraid of males, and that she was in any kind of trauma.

The defence lawyer further said that there was no medical report produced on indecent assault.

The state prosecution had submitted that the offence committed was serious and that it should be made very clear to the public that such offences will not be condoned.

Prosecution also stated that Pratap was a Police officer and given his position, he should protect and uphold the law, and not commit such offences as he had a duty to protect the society.

Pratap will be sentenced later today.

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