25 Jun 2016 12:40pm
KATIMA MULILO, 25 JUN (NAMPA) A 22-year-old man accused of rape and assault has been set free by the Katima Mulilo Regional Court.
Patrick Suya Mesho was found not guilty of rape and was subsequently acquitted of assault charges by magistrate Bongani Ndlovu on Thursday.
In his sentencing, Ndlovu stated that the complainant, also aged 22, did not provide a sufficient explanation of how she was sexually violated by the accused on 01 January 2013 at Kalubi village in the Kongola Constituency.
The lack of such evidence and contradicting testimonies hints at the fact that the accused and complainant had consensual sex on the night of the alleged crime, he said.
According to court records and police statements seen by Nampa on Friday, Mesho stood accused of raping the complainant four times on that New Years night, after the two had been earlier seen in each others company at musical festivities.
In the complainant's statement, she claims that the accused had called her out of her parents courtyard at the village under the pretext that he wanted to know what time it is.
The accused then allegedly dragged her from the courtyard and threatened to kill her if she screamed for help.
She further alleged that the accused dragged her across the road into thick bushes, where he rape and assaulted her by whipping her all over her body.
According to the complainant, she was raped three times in the bushes, then later dragged to the accuseds house at a nearby village.
Upon their arrival at the accuseds house, he locked her up and rested for the evening. He then allegedly committed the fourth rape on 02 January, after which he set her free.
When the complainant arrived home that morning, she told her mother that the accused, who was known to her, had sexually violated her.
Ndlovu found Mesho not guilty on rape and guilty on assault which he then wholly suspended for a period of three years on condition that the accused is not charged with a similar offence during the period of review.