PHILIPSBURG–A contractor who was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2018 for raping a nineteen-year-old woman on December 19, 2017, was acquitted of all charges by the Court of Appeals on Thursday.
The defendant A.R. (50) had denied the allegations during the Court hearing and had filed for appeal. He was not present to hear the Court proclaim his innocence during Thursday’s brief proceedings.
He has a reputation of being a drunk and a womaniser, according to a witness, but the defendant had denied in front of the Court of First Instance that he had had intercourse with the young woman, who was 30 years his junior. He also denied he had a drinking problem.
The victim had claimed that after work she had been threatened with a gun and forced to go with her boss to his home in St. Peters, where he allegedly had violently raped her.
The Prosecutor’s Office had found rape legally and convincingly proven, as R., who was the victim’s boss, had forced his subordinate to have involuntary sex with him. The Prosecutor had also called for a three-year prison sentence.
In defending his client, attorney Geert Hatzmann had made some critical remarks about the victim’s incriminating statements. He pointed out that no firearm had been found and said neither the suspect’s DNA or sperm nor any wounds had been found on the victim. The lawyer called for his client’s full acquittal.
Contrary to the Prosecutor’s Office in the initial case, the Solicitor-General called on the Court of Appeals to acquit the defendant for lack of evidence. The Court of Appeals followed the recommendation.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89278-court-overturns-rape-conviction