Crime

Dentist and Former-NFP Party Candidate Acquitted Of Sexual Offence Charges

There was no evidence of physical resistance from the complainant which creates a reasonable doubt- Justice Thushara Rajasinghe, High Court
03 Sep 2019 11:00
Dentist and Former-NFP Party Candidate Acquitted Of Sexual Offence Charges

The High Court in Suva has acquitted the 66-year-old dentist and former National Federation Party provisional candidate who was facing sexual offence charges.

The matter was called before Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe for judgment yesterday.

The 66-year-old dentist was facing five counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault charges.

It was alleged the man raped his 54-year-old sister-in-law in Nasinu on June 28, last year.

It was also alleged the man approached the complainant and asked if he could spend the night at her house because he was too tired after a wedding and could not go back home.

The man was alleged to have started knocking on the complainant’s bedroom door in the middle of the night and then forcefully got into the room. He was also alleged to have raped the complainant.

State prosecution was represented by Swastika Sharma and Meli Vosawale from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The dentist was represented by lawyers Devanesh Sharma and Sharoneel Deo from R Patel Lawyers.

In his judgment, Justice Rajasinghe said the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

“The complainant’s evidence was not credible and reliable,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

“The complainant went to give medical examination at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital three hours after the alleged incident, however, the medical doctor did not find any injuries, laceration, marks or bruises on the complainant.

“There was no evidence of physical resistance from the complainant which creates a reasonable doubt.

“There were no vaginal injuries found by the medical doctor in the medical examination.

“The defence’s case was clear that the accused was suffering from erectile dysfunction,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

Justice Rajasinghe disagreed with the majority opinion of two assessors who had given a guilty opinion for the accused.

He agreed with the minority opinion of the third assessor who had given a not guilty opinion.

Justice Rajasinghe said the dentist was not guilty of all seven counts as charged and acquitted him accordingly.

The prosecution was given 30 days to the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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