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Howe – ‘I know I would beat the charge’

Howe – ‘I know I would beat the charge’

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Orsheil Howe didn’t exhibit much emotion after a nine member jury found him not guilty of rape on Wednesday, February 1.{{more}}

Shortly after embracing his relatives outside the High Court, the only thing he said was: “I feel good. I know I would beat the charge.”

Howe was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl on Sunday, June 27, 2010.

The girl, now 16, testified that she left her home at about 4:30 p.m. to attend Sunday School. “I left home to go Sunday School, which done at 6:00 p.m.,” she said.

After Sunday School, the teenager said she followed her friend home and then headed home.

“On my way home, I was walking through a shortcut, and as I was walking, I felt someone hold me on my right shoulder,” the girl said.

She told the court the person pushed her on a stone and when she got back up and turned around, she recognised Howe’s face.

“I start to fight up with him and he told me that I either go home with him or have sex with him right there,” she said.

The girl said she recognized Howe from being in her area and that he always attempted to talk to her.

“I told him to leave me alone. I continue to fight up with him and he put his hand under my skirt…,” she continued.

The girl testified that Howe managed to pull down her underwear while they were still fighting and had sex with her on the stone.

She said the ordeal lasted 15 minutes.

The girl said she managed to kick Howe on the right side of his chest, after which she pulled up her underwear and walked away. She said she told Howe that she was going to call the police.

“He told me he don’t care and if he get lock up, somewhere down the road he have to come out…,” she further testified.

The girl’s mother, who also testified in the matter, under cross-examination by defence counsel Stephen Williams, said that her daughter returned home at about 11:00 that night. She admitted to the court that her daughter is in the habit of coming home late, but that occasion was the first time that she came home late from Sunday School.

When asked if she was concerned about her daughter coming home at that hour, the mother said: “I was concerned, but I ask she three questions and I satisfy with what she said. Is young people,” she said.

She said her daughter just came home and went into her bedroom.

The court was also shown the clothing the victim was wearing when she was allegedly raped. She identified a blue top, a miniskirt and a ‘boy shorts’ panty.

In his summation, Justice Wesley James told the jury that the case is one where there is no corroboration.

“It is dangerous to convict without corroboration, but once you believe what she (victim) says, you can convict,” he added.

James noted that the medical certificate did not show any evidence that there had been sexual intercourse and that the doctor did not find any semen.

James also pointed to the girl’s testimony in which she stated that she only saw Howe when she was walking through the shortcut on her way home. He also pointed out the fact that her friend, who also gave testimony, told the court that the victim was at her house when she (the victim) asked for her phone to send a “please call me message”. The friend also said that she went into her house for the phone and when she returned with it, she saw the alleged victim and Howe sitting and speaking under a plum tree.

Crown counsel Carl Williams and Sejilla McDowall led the crown’s case.

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