Feb 28, 2017, 11:38 AM
Momodou Camara was said to have raped the four-year-old girl at Tanjeh, in the West Coast Region, on 22 September 2012.
Delivering the judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Nkea, stated that the prosecution case was that on 22 September 2012, the victim ran to her mother crying and pointing at her private organ, saying the convicted person gave her a piece of bread and then fell on her and had sexual intercourse with her.
“The mother examined her and found some slippery substance believed to be sperms in her. She called in some neighbours and the accused was confronted and later arrested by the police,” he said.
During the investigation, the victim was examined and medical report was issued and tendered as exhibit, he stated.
“The law on rape requires the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was unlawful sexual intercourse involving the victim; that the victim could not or did not consent; and that the accused participated in the unlawful sexual intercourse,” the judge said.
He also said there was no eyewitness account of the alleged rape, thus eliminating all the prospects of any direct evidence in support of the indictment, adding that the prosecution therefore relied heavily on circumstantial evidence in proof of the offence.
To be sufficient to support a conviction in a criminal trial, he went on, circumstantial evidence must be complete and unequivocal. It must be compelling and must lead to the irresistible conclusion that the accused and no one else was the culprit.
“Having carefully read through the various submissions and having also carefully considered the totality of the evidence adduced before this court, it seems to me that only one issue stands out for determination in this case, and that is whether the accused had sexual intercourse with the victim,” Justice Nkea stated.
“The element of penetration is the most important and essential determinant of sexual intercourse, and the law is that sexual intercourse is deemed complete upon proof of penetration,” said the judge.
He said the absence of the victim’s evidence may not be necessarily fatal to the prosecution case as an accused could be convicted of the crime based on the testimony of witnesses other than the victim.
“The accused had admitted in his voluntary statement that he placed his penis into the vagina of the victim,” he adduced.
“When I relate this piece of evidence with the testimony of PW2 and the medical findings, I immediately reach the conclusion that there is sufficient corroboration of sexual intercourse. I hold as a fact that the victim was sexually assaulted,” Justice Nkea said in his judgement.
Justice Nkea further stated that the sequence of events in this case establishes a clean nexus between the accused and the act, adding that the first and third elements of the offence have therefore been satisfactorily established by the prosecution.
“I resolve same in favour of the prosecution,” the judge said.
“From the foregoing, I reach the conclusion that the prosecution proved its case with the certainty required. The accused person, Momodou Camara, is accordingly found guilty and convicted as charged,” the judge declared.