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Rape suspect saved by the science

LOOKING FORWARD: Tsheruyakgoba is now a free man

Suspected rapist cleared after two years in prison

Having been locked up for over two years after violating his bail conditions, a 27-year-old suspected rapist is now a free man after the case against him was dismissed due to lack of medical evidence.

Although he was found guilty of the lesser crime of common assault, for which he received a backdated six-month sentence, because of the time he has already spent behind bars, Kaone Tsheruyakgoba will not be going back to prison.

He was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend numerous times in a graveyard at Khekhenye village back on 19th October 2017.

Among the seven witnesses who testified against Tsheruyakgoba, the 25-year-old complainant told court that on the day in question she had been visiting her cousin when the suspect turned up on horseback and started insulting her.

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She claimed he twisted her arm and then pulled her by her braids, dragging her to the graveyards where, armed with a pair of scissors, he forcibly undressed her. The complainant accused Tsheruyakgoba of raping her without a condom, claiming he abused her for several rounds and only let her go when it was late at night.

She went home and reported the ordeal to her mother, who duly notified the police the next morning. Upon his arrest later that day, Tsheruyakgoba told the cops his accuser was in fact his girlfriend.

Defending himself, the suspect told court he had confronted the complainant after learning she was cheating on him.

Tsheruyakgoba says he informed her he was leaving for the cattlepost, which he claimed caused her to start crying and attempt to snatch his phone. He maintained this resulted in a scuffle which is how the complainant sustained scratches and bruises.

In the end though, it was the inconclusive science that saved him.

Explaining why she had no choice but to acquit him, Chief Magistrate Goabaone Rammapodi-Lesedi said, “In this particular case the medical report did not yield any positive results.

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“The doctor testified that the complainant was in a good medical state when examined and could not confirm whether or not sexual activities were conducted. The DNA test results as well did not yield any positive result. Whilst she testified that she had been raped, these two results on the other hand suggest that sexual intercourse may not have taken place.”

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