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Man Accused of Rape, Assault Acquitted

  A man accused of rape and assault causing actual bodily harm was acquitted yesterday by the High Court in Labasa. Appearing before Justice Achala Wengappuli, Beniamino Rasiga was acquitted
04 Mar 2017 15:20
Man Accused of Rape, Assault Acquitted

 

A man accused of rape and assault causing actual bodily harm was acquitted yesterday by the High Court in Labasa.

Appearing before Justice Achala Wengappuli, Beniamino Rasiga was acquitted on the grounds that “the evidence of the prosecution, presented through the complainant, is insufficient to establish the elements of the offences of rape and assault causing actual bodily harm, beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial lasted three days.

The three assessors had found the evidence of the accused as truthful and reliable as they unanimously found the accused not guilty to the charges.

Justice Wengappuli said he concurred with the opinion of the assessors because there was no cogent reason to override their decision to accept the claim of the accused.

Rasiga was represented by Gibson and Company lawyer, Kelepi Ratule.

It was alleged that in the early hours of July 4, 2015, the 25-year-old complainant was drinking alcohol with three other males, including Rasiga.

They had spent the previous evening drinking alcohol at several places. They were seated on the veranda of the house of the other male.

After some time, the complainant went outside to relieve herself and she walked away from the house.

It was alleged that the Rasiga grabbed her from behind, punched her, bit her lips and raped her.

The accused, in his evidence, admitted having the intention to have sex, but before he tried to have sex, he blacked out.

He denied biting the complainant.

The medical witness who examined the complainant after the alleged incident did not observe any lacerations or abrasions on the private parts of the complainant.

Representing the state was Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer, Amelia Vavadakua.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj



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