Two men accused of rape walked free after the prosecution offered no evidence against them. The men ages 38 and 43, were both due to stand trial on 9 Sept., for a single count of rape and indecent assault. However, on Friday 6 Sept., during a mention hearing in the Grand Court, Crown Prosecutor Scott Wainwright offered no evidence against either defendant.
“The position is, that the complainant in the matter no longer wishes to cooperate with the prosecution, and has declined to give evidence,” said Wainwright. “In light of this, the Crown has no other choice but to offer no evidence against both defendants,” he added. The charges stem from an incident dating from 2017, during which the defendants allegedly assaulted a woman who resided as a tenant in one of their apartments. The men denied the allegations.
In light of the prosecution’s decision, defence attorney Lee Halliday-Davis requested a formal ‘not guilty’ verdict be entered. “Since both defendants were arraigned and entered formal not guilty pleas, I request that not guilty verdicts be entered on the record,” Said Halliday-Davis.
That request was met with no resistance by the prosecution, so Acting Grand Court Justice Marlene Carter acceded. “Gentlemen I now return not guilty verdicts in relation to the charges,” said Acting Justice Carter.
She added, “This means you are free to go, and you cannot be brought back, not for these charges anyway.” This is the second time both defendants were charged, arraigned and due to stand trial for the same indictment of rape and indecent assault.
The first trial In 2018 both men entered not guilty pleas to the charges of rape and indecent assault. During the opening of their trial, Crown Prosecutor Darlene Oko told the jury the owner of the apartment complex had arranged a party for his tenants.
The alleged assault occurred at around 2am the following morning, after the party had ended. The trial was called off due to late disclosure by the prosecution, after video evidence of the complainant’s first interview with police surfaced midway through the trial. At the time of the trial, both men denied the allegations of rape and said the intercourse was consensual.