Cousin acquitted of rape, but found guilty of defilement
A man who is charged with rape and defiling his cousin has been acquitted for rape by the High Court in Suva. Appearing before Justice Vincent Perera yesterday the accused has only been found guilty of defilement.
Justice Perera said the prosecution had failed to prove the elements of rape. He said the complainant was evasive and not consistent when giving her evidence. The court had heard that the accused had believed the complainant was 16 years old at the time of the alleged offence. The complainant was 15 years old at the time.
Defence lawyer Jiten Reddy, for mitigation, said the accused was young, a first offender, was remorseful of his actions and sought the court’s mercy. Mr Reddy highlighted in court that the accused and the complainant were distant cousins and there were no breach of trust. The accused remains in custody until his sentencing on October 6. Mere Satakala / Edited by Naisa Koroi