criminal trial of one Nuha Dampha, alleged of raping a dumb girl under a
coercive circumstance commenced before the Basse High Court, presided over by
Justice Simeon A. Abi.
The accused is charged with rape contrary to section 3(1) of the sexual Act 2013 and the prosecution alleged that the accused on 29 March 2016, at Tinkinto Village in the Upper River Region, intentionally and under coercive circumstances, had carnal knowledge of the girl (name withheld).
Testifying before the court, the first prosecution witness, Sheriff Manneh, a police officer attached to Basse Police Station said he is the regional crime officer and one of his functions was to supervise all investigation officers in URR and their day to day operations.
The witness recalled that sometime in March 2016, the accused was involved in an alleged case and he (the witness) obtained his cautionary and voluntary statements in the presence of an independent witness.
The witness testified that the alleged victim clothes were handed over to him by one of the police officers who visited the crime scene.
The witness disclosed that the clothes were a skirt and an underwear trouser, noting that after thorough investigations, a case file was compiled and forwarded to the Attorney General’s Chambers for advice.
Responding to questions posed to him by defence counsel S. Fatty, the witness told the court that he never visited the crime scene.
When asked that as a crime officer, could he describe the nature of rape, state counsel B. Sanneh raised an objection, saying that the witness is not an expert and should not answer the question.
Defence counsel S. Fatty replied that the witness could answer the question based on his experience.
However, the court allowed the question and the witness told the court that he knows that it was having carnal knowledge of a girl or woman without consent.
The witness replied in the affirmative when further asked if it was correct that when one forces a woman into sex, it was rape.
.The witness was asked again if it was correct that if one solicits a woman for sex, it was not rape. The witness replied that if the person consented.
When put to the witness that the accused never told him that he forced the victim into having sex, the witness replied that the accused told him in his statement that he had sex with the victim.