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No DNA detected, but not off the hook

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No DNA detected, but not off the hook

Suspected teen rapist’s case nears climax

A teenager accused of rape has been told that just because his DNA was not found in the complainant does not necessarily mean he is innocent of the charge.

Thabo Keotlogetse, 19, who appeared before Molepolole Magistrates Court this week, is accused of violently raping a 14-year-old girl.

The Mabaone native was just 15 at the time of the alleged rape, said to have occurred on the evening of 28 January 2017.

Taking to the stand for the prosecution, Forensic Scientist, Billy Sethato explained that even though no male DNA was detected during the complainant’s medical examination, this does not automatically rule out sexual assault.

“There are factors that can lead to no male DNA detected even when sexual assault was conducted. One being the possibility that a condom was used. Furthermore, if the sampling was not carried out in a proper manner there is also possibility of missing a male DNA that was there,” clarified Sethato.

Other possible factors Sethato listed for the lack of a DNA trace included: the suspect not ejaculating into the victim, the victim taking a bath after the rape and a delay in collecting samples from the victim.

Indeed, it is said that in Keotlogetse’s case the complainant refused to be examined as she was suffering from trauma.

This reportedly led to the tests not being conducted properly as the medical practitioners had to forcibly restrain the young girl and hold her down while collecting the DNA samples.

Details of the case state that Keotlogetse ambushed the complainant whilst she was walking to check on a friend at night.

It is alleged that he beat her with a stick and then dragged her to his home in Thamaga’s Segwagwa ward.

Police believe the girl was too frightened to shout for help.

Once at the Keotlogetse’s place, the accused is said to have forcibly removed her clothes after she refused to undress. It is suspected he then told her to open her thighs and when she declined, he hit her with a fist before raping her.

In his defence, Keotlogetse, who opted for unsworn evidence, claimed the complainant was his girlfriend and that they had walked hand-in-hand to his house.

“When we got home we slept. Later during the night I realised she wasn’t there. I tried looking for her but ended up giving up and slept. When I woke up in the morning I went to the lands but as soon as I arrived from the lands I was told the police were looking for me. They later arrived and told me I raped the victim,” stated the young suspect.

With judgment scheduled for 20 October and the trial reaching its climax, presiding Magistrate Kefilwe Resheng ordered the prosecution to file their final submission before the end of this week. Keotlogetse was given until the end of next week to submit.

The accused was remanded in custody after having missed previous court dates while on bail.

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