The Supreme Court of Vanuatu has acquitted Mr. Henry Crowby on two charges of sexual intercourse without consent, contrary to sections 90 and 91 of the Penal Code [CAP135].
It follows allegations of Mr. Crowby, an Anglican Priest, committing the offence at a motel in February and at his home in March last year. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.
When handing the verdict, Supreme Court Judge James Paul Geoghegan stated that in assessing the evidence, the court has found the defendant, Mr. Crowby, and all defense witnesses to be straightforward and consistent in the way in which they gave their evidence and accepted it.
He evaluated that the inconsistencies of the accuser party, both during the course of her evidence, and in respect of her account of events to others raises not only a reasonable doubt but a very significant doubt regarding Mr. Crowby’s guilt.
Mr. Crowby acknowledged the fact that he is proven not guilty, but this is not the end of the legal proceedings, as he is filing a case for defamation against the opposition parties, for tarnishing his reputation as a chief, Priest, father and leader in the community.
He commented that the court stated that the public solicitor and police failed to proof adequate evidence to prove him guilty of the charges laid. Mr. Crowby commented that the accusations had placed pressure upon him and his families.
Mr. Crowby admitted that he is relieved with the given judgment on February 14, 2023, and affirmed that a defamation case is in progress.
SOURCE: Vanuatu Daily Post