Seven men walk free after charges dropped
Seven young men will no longer be tried on varying counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault of a girl under the age of 13.
At the beginning of these court proceedings, which began at the Family Court, there were nine accused men.
However, following an examination of prosecution evidence at the Family Court, only seven were committed to stand trial at the High Court.
These defendants were scheduled to appear this Monday, November 16.
On Monday, all five lawyers for the various defendants, entered appearances at the High Court. Six of the defendants were present. However, the matter came to a swift end, after the prosecution expressed that they would no longer prosecute as the complainant did not want to proceed.
The offences are alleged to have occurred seven years ago and the complainant is now an adult, and has a family.
If the matter went to a trial, she would have likely been cross-examined by multiple lawyers for the accused men. It would also be necessary for her to recount, and thereby relive, the alleged incidents.
Therefore, all men previously charged have been discharged for these matters. Had a jury found them guilty of these crimes, a maximum of 30 years in prison may have been handed down in some cases.
If a trial were held, the men would have had to rebut accusations that they committed these crimes, on various dates between March 20 and April 9, 2013. There were six counts before the High Court: two counts concerning unlawful sexual intercourse, and four other charges.
All seven of the young men were not charged with each offence. In one instance, one accused was charged, and in the other counts, three or four of the accused.
Despite this, the allegations did not appear to suggest a situation of ‘gang rape’. All the defendants were school aged in 2013.