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Temo Acquits Rape Accused Couple, Cautions Complainants

Temo Acquits Rape Accused Couple, Cautions Complainants
May 22
11:00 2018

High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo yesterday sounded a word of caution to rape com­plainants after he acquitted couple of rape because the complainant was not forth­right in her evidence.

After delivering his judg­ment, Justice Temo said it was important that rape com­plainants were honest to the Police, doctor, court and the Prosecution.

He said the 14-year-old com­plainant in the case against the couple lost her case be­cause she was notinconsist­ent with her evidence.

Justice Temo said the guilty opinion of the three assessors was not perverse as it was open to them to reach that conclusion, however he said he was not bound by their de­cision.

Justice Temo said the Prose­cution’s case was solely based on the verbal evidence of the complainant who said she agreed to have sex with the 60-year-old man for $20.

She admitted in court that she consented to the act and that she had informed him of her age, but he did not say anything in return.

She also admitted that she lied to the Police.

Justice Temo said after care­fully assessing the complain­ant’s demeanour and analys­ing her evidence he had been thrown into a reasonable doubt.

This is because of the change in her position from what she said had happened in August, 2016 when the al­leged incident happened and what she testified in court during trial.

Justice Temo said even her behaviour in court and to the Police cast a doubt whether an alternative charge of de­filement could ever be ac­cepted.

He said the complainant was medically examined on Sep­tember 29, 2016 and anything could have happened within the span of one month from when the alleged incident happened and when she was examined.

Justice Temo said the incon­sistencies in the complain­ant’s evidence affected her credibility.

The couple was acquitted and freed from proceedings accordingly.

The couple was charged with five counts of rape and sexual assault which alleged­ly happened between August 1-31, 2016 in a settlement in Nasinu.

Edited by Percy Kean

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