After four years in jail —
Welder freed of rape charge
By Theron Boodan
Thursday 08th December 2005
A 34-year-old welder of Barataria, who has been in jail for the past four years awaiting trial for rape, walked out the Hall of Justice a free man yesterday after a jury found him not guilty of the charge.
The man was charged with raping a girl, who was 15 years old at the time, in her one-room Barataria apartment on October 7, 2001.
The trial, which lasted about four days, was before Justice Devan Rampersad in the Port-of-Spain Fifth Criminal Court.
The accused was represented by attorney Larry Williams, while Aden Stroud prosecuted.
After deliberating for about 45 minutes, the jury returned a not guilty verdict.
The victim claimed that the man used to stay with her in the one-room apartment and, on the evening of October 7, he had been drinking heavily. She said she was not feeling well and took four tablets which knocked her out.
She said she got up at 11 pm and felt the body of the accused on top of her. A struggle ensued and he had sex with her.
In her statement and deposition, she stated that when she awoke, his penis was already inside of her.
There were some other inconsistencies in her account of what occurred.
The accused denied living in the same one-room with the girl.
He recounted that the girl had asked him for money earlier that day, and he had refused to give her.
There was evidence that on the next morning, the girl had confronted the accused in the presence of her father about being raped by him (the accused), and that the accused allegedly said that if he goes to jail for this, when he comes out "yuh" would be lucky to be alive.
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