Justice Oliver Saksak has returned a verdict of guilty against a Luganville man who raped a student on September 24, 2017.
After one day trial, Justice Saksak pronounced the guilt of the man who could not be named for the victim’s security reasons for pulling the victim forcefully into some banana threes in Pepsi area.
The brief of facts adduced in court claimed that the victim recalled she was still sleeping with other students in their sleeping house at Pepsi area when the man came and banged the door at around 4am.
The judge said the man was drunk and asked them to open the door or else he will break it.
The students opened the door and ran out but the defendant when after the victim, caught her and pulled her down to a mango three while she was yelling.
The man asked the victim to stop screaming or else he would break her hand and further threatened to drown her in a nearby river if she fails to take off her clothes.
This trial later forced the victim to go through the suffering she sustained on the day and even when as far as narrating the moment her friends watching her being raped by the drunken man.
He said that after the terrible experience, the victim collected her cloths and run crying to her brother and told him what just happened to her before they called the police.
But the defendant detailed in his defense nothing more than just a consensual sex encounter at the time and claimed that he had to let go of the victim after someone got them in the act.
He denied forcing the victim and said that he went there knowing what he was doing.
He said that he asked for sex two times to the victim, first she did say nothing and second, she agreed and claimed that the victim willingly gave herself to him.
Justice Saksak didn’t see it that way but all he could see is the defendant’s demeanor in the witness box who was evasive at the time to answer the questions put to him in cross examination.
He said that he pretended he did not understand the questions which had to be repeated by counsel and yet he failed to answer them.
Interestingly he said that the defendant admitted in evidence that the victim yelled and creamed and by that time he could have known that she was not a willing participant.
He said the victim also denied a relationship of any sort prior to the date of the offending and claimed that the man was a total stranger to her on September 24, 2017.
“From the evidence, I am satisfied that the defendant has threatened the complainant and forced her by causing her fear of bodily harm through the effect of acohol, to bring her consent to sexual activities which took place at 4am on September 24, 2017,” he said.
“I accept the prosecution submissions on the basis of the case law and authorities cited and referred that there was a recent complaint and that her participation in the sexual acts with defendant were obtained by force and were not voluntary on her part.
“I accept that there were inconsistencies in some part of the evidence for the prosecution but I accept these inconsistencies did not affect the essential elements of consent being obtained by force, threats or intimidation of any king, fear of bodily harm and through the effect of alcohol.
“I am therefore satisfied that the prosecution has proved the guilt of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt”.
He then convicted the defendant and the sentence will be listed shortly after the court will come up with a fixed date.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST