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Taxi driver freed of raping cousin
A 39-year-old taxi driver from Arima has been freed of raping his cousin in 2009.
The man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of his alleged victim, was found not guilty of the crime in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Tuesday afternoon.
It took a nine-member jury before Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo almost three hours to return with a unanimous verdict for the man, who maintained that the sexual encounter was consensual.
According to the State’s case, the attack occurred on March 21, 2009, near to the Santa Rosa Race Track in Carapo.
The two were allegedly parked at the side of the road, when the man allegedly attacked the 20-year-old victim. She claimed that he choked her until she became unconscious and then raped her.
Although the man did not testify in his defence, his defence attorneys Randall Raphael and Kirby Joseph raised issues with the alleged victim’s account of what transpired in cross-examination.
They questioned her claims of being choked by her cousin as they pointed out that a medical report, prepared after she reported the incident to police, did not mention injuries to her neck.
They also took issue with the fact that it was only raised by the victim during the brief trail before Waterman-Latchoo and not in her witness statement to police and during her testimony in the preliminary inquiry into the case several years ago.
They also alleged that she had initiated the sexual activity after they consumed a sexual stimulant together.
The case was prosecuted by Hema Sundarsingh and Danielle Thompson.
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