A 57 year-old man has been acquitted of raping his live-in lover’s daughter by a High Court judge, who criticized the way police handled the investigation of the crime.
The judge cited how the police provided no photos of the interior of the cabin of the prime mover owned by the accused, where the rape had allegedly taken place. This would have been “important evidence”, said Senior Judge Kan Ting Chiu. Only photos of the exterior of the prime mover were taken, and the vehicle was later scrapped.
Senior Judge Kan also questioned the credibility of the victim, now 23, who claimed that she was raped and molested over a period of 2 years when she was 15 and 16.
The victim claims she was sexually assaulted on the rear bench, behind the front driver’s and passenger’s seats of the prime mover. She describes the bench as having a “cushion” that could sit 4 persons, but the accused disputed her description, saying dirty tools and equipment would be placed on the bench.
The judge said he found the victim’s description of the interior cabin “confusing”. It did not help that she was unable or unwilling to draw a sketch.
In another 2 incidents of sexual assault that took place in the family flat in 2010, the victim claims the rape took place after the accused told her 13 year-old sister to leave to buy lunch, but Senior Judge Kan noted that the sister did not mention this incident during her time on the stand, and that she was not asked about it.
“When there are substantial flaws and shortcomings in the evidence as there are here, there will be reasonable doubts,” Judge Kan said.
The victim told her boyfriend of the sexual assaults in 2010. He persuaded her to tell her mother, which she did in 2011. She told her mother that she did not want to go to the police and nothing was done. It was only when the victim and her sister told their brother that the man had sexually abused them that a police report was lodged.