Essequibo man found guilty of rape

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Francis Gonsalves was on Tuesday found guilty by a 12-member jury for raping a 35-year-old woman in 2018.

Gonsalves of the Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast, was on trial before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Suddie High Court for allegedly engaging in sexual penetration with the victim on March 27, 2018.

The jury by a 10-2 majority found Gonsalves guilty of the crime. Gonsalves refused to accept the verdict and told the court that he was innocent and had an unfair trial.

His attorney Ravindra Mohabir, during a plea of mitigation, told the court that his client is a “model prisoner” and could be rehabilitated.

However, State Prosecutor Tiffani Lyken told the court that Gonsalves showed no remorse for his actions although being found guilty by a jury.

She also told the court that Gonsalves is currently serving a sentence and is no stranger to the law. He was previously charged for burglary, assault causing actual bodily harm, damage to property and breach of a protection order.

The judge deferred sentencing to October 13, 2021. The court heard that the victim had left a birthday party at 03:00hrs when she was attacked and raped by Gonsalves.

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