Man accused of rape found not guilty

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A man has been found not guilty of rape at the Demerara High Court. The 12-member mixed jury took under two hours to reach its unanimous verdict.

When his trial opened before Justice Jo-ann Barlow, Ronald Ali had denied the charge which alleged that he, on May 1, 2019, engaged in sexual penetration of a woman without her consent.

State Prosecutors had contended that the woman had left her home at around midnight on May 1, 2019 to attend a Linden Town Week show. She left the party alone at around 2:15am the following morning for her residence.

Upon arrival at the car park, the woman said, she boarded a silver-grey motorcar. She described the driver as someone who was thin-built and who appeared to be in his late 40s.

The prosecutors alleged that the taxi driver, whom the woman later identified as Ali, took an unusual route and ended up at Washer Pond Road, where he stopped and told her he had forgotten his wallet.

After receiving consent from the woman to go back for his belongings, the taxi driver did so, but after he drove past the Amelia’s Ward Police Outpost and headed onto the Linden Highway, the woman grabbed his jersey and pleaded with him to take her home, but he continued driving.

The woman said that when she tried to exit the vehicle, the driver kept pressing the safety; all the windows were wound up.

He then began driving at a fast rate of speed onto a lonely, dark, and bushy area, before switching off all the lights in the car.

According to the prosecutor, the driver demanded that the woman come over to the front seat, and she complied because she was afraid that he would hurt her.

The court was told that the woman looked away for a few seconds and when she looked back, she saw the driver holding his penis.

He forced her to perform oral sex on him, the prosecutors said. After the ordeal, he dropped her off at a corner and drove away. The woman then boarded another car and headed home. She later confided in her cousin about what had transpired.