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Ritchie rapist found guilty

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He also told her that he was HIV positive. When he got up and dressed himself after raping her, she saw his face and the clothes he was wearing

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A RITCHIE man, Romeo Shilo, was yesterday found guilty in the Kimberley Regional Court of two of the four counts of rape against him.

Shilo was accused of raping three women in three separate incidents in Ritchie.

In the first incident, the State alleged that Shilo raped a woman on March 27 2016 after he grabbed her from behind while she was walking down a street and dragged her into the yard of a nearby house.

The complainant told the court that she did not look at the face of her attacker but she could recognise him by his voice and the cologne he was wearing.

No DNA was however found when the complainant was examined and the condom the complainant claimed was used by her attacker was never found.

Shilo denied the allegation, stating that he went to play soccer in Hopetown on March 26 2016. He said he returned to Ritchie later and went to a local tavern but returned home at 7.30pm, where he stayed until the next day.

On the second and third counts of rape, which occurred on November 15 2015, the complainant said she was walking home from Easy Tavern in Ritchie when she was grabbed and dragged to an abandoned house.

The complainant said she was raped from behind after her attacker pulled down her pants and underwear. She said her attacker failed to penetrate her at his first attempt but penetrated and raped her during a second attempt.

Semen from Shilo was detected following forensic tests on samples taken from the private parts and underwear of the complainant.

Shilo’s version of events was that he and the complainant had had consensual intercourse on November 14.

He said that the complainant and her friend had met him and his friend at Easy Tavern. The complainant’s friend later left.

Shilo said they carried on drinking and when he and his friend wanted to leave, the complainant insisted on leaving with them. He said his friend then gave him the keys to his room and he and the complainant left.

Shilo said they had consensual intercourse in the room and half and hour later they again had intercourse.

According to Shilo, he did not use a condom as the complainant said they should carry on without one.

In regards to the fourth charge, a complainant from Windsorton said she was visiting friends in Ritchie when she was raped on October 31 2015.

She said she was at Easy Tavern with her friends when she decided to visit her boyfriend but he was asleep when she got to his place.

She then returned to the tavern and asked for the keys to the house where she was staying during her visit.

The complainant said that on her way home walking through a veld, a man came running up behind her claiming he was being chased by gangsters. She said the next moment the man grabbed her and threw her on the grass. The attacker told her that he would kill her if she continued screaming and he raped her from behind.

She said he also told her that he was HIV positive. When he got up and dressed himself after raping her, she saw his face and the clothes he was wearing.

She stated that her attacker then asked for her cellphone number and she gave it to him. He then later called her and apologised for the incident and told her to switch off her phone as the area was not safe.

The complainant said she later met a man and two women whom she told about the incident. The three people assisted her home and also called her friend whom she was visiting. The friend then reported the matter to the police who took the complainant to a doctor. The doctor found love bites on her neck as well as abrasions on her private parts.

Shilo’s defence was that he and the complainant had met on social media and started a love relationship.

He said he met her for the first time in person at Rietvale High School in July and they met again on October 28 and had consensual intercourse at his uncle’s shanty.

He denied raping the complainant.

Northern Cape Regional Court President, Khandilizwe Nqadala, rejected the first complainant’s version and found Shilo not guilty on the first rape charge.

“The complainant was very drunk on the night of the incident. The complainant never mentioned to the police that the extent of her identification of the accused was based on his voice and his cologne. During her cross-examination, she three times evaded the question whether she had seen the face of her attacker and only responded the fourth time. The evidence of the complainant was suspicious and the court has to see it as unreliable.”

Nqadala stated that the same could not be said of the second complainant.

“In relation to the second complainant, she was able to make a clear identification of the assailant and her identification was reliable as she could see his face as well as the the yellow shorts and blue T-shirt he was wearing. The power of her observation was so strong that she could even identify the hairstyle and a mark near the chin of her attacker. The accused in this matter has the same mark.

“She was also able to make voice similarities when the attacker called her after the incident. There were several incidents of direct communication between the rapist and the complainant – when he told her he was being chased, when he told her not to scream, when he further threatened to kill her and also when he told her he was HIV positive, as well as the moment he asked for her number.

“There was also forensic evidence found which linked the accused to the incident,”

Nqadala said he did not find Shilo’s version as truthful.

“The accused’s version that semen was left inside the complainant for four days is false and is aimed at misleading the court. It is very improbable that the complainant did not bath for four days, leaving semen inside herself for days until it was detected by the doctor. The false evidence from the accused also shows that his love relationship with the complainant is false. This was a lame excuse to explain how his semen had ended up inside the complainant.”

Nqadala added that the fact that the complainant had also set a trap for the accused, which led to his arrest, also indicated that there was no love relationship.

“The trap set for the accused, which led to his arrest, is a strong linkage to the incident. Why would someone involved in a love relationship suddenly set a trap for their lover.”

Nqadala also found the third and fourth counts of rape to be true but said that they should be seen as one incident and not two.

“The accused said he had intercourse with the complainant on 13 or 14 November. The complainant said it was on November 15. Here again the accused was linked by his semen. It is unlikely that the complainant would go for two days after having intercourse with a fling without washing herself.

“The complainant also did not exaggerate the rape and said that there was a first failed attempt of penetration. The evidence taken from five different parts of the complainant’s private parts also indicated that there was a failed first attempt at penetration but there was successful penetration afterwards. Because the penis of the accused slipped and in one other movement did penetrate the complainant, in law it constitutes one act of rape. The slipping cannot be seen as a separate act. The State should have charged the accused with only one count of rape,” Nqadala said.

The matter was postponed for sentencing.