Berbice taxi driver freed of rape charges
A 31-year-old taxi driver was on Tuesday freed after a 12-member jury found him not guilty of five counts of rape.
Jamal Anthony Arjune of Mount Sinai, West Canje Berbice, was on trial before Justice Navindra Singh at the Berbice High Court.
He had denied the five charges which read that between September and December 2020, he engaged in sexual penetration with the victim.
Following the judge’s summation of the case, the 12-member jury retired to deliberate and returned some hours after with the verdict, finding Arjune not guilty of the five counts of rape.
He was represented by attorney Tuanna Hardy, while the State was represented by prosecutor Nafeeza Baig.
According to the prosecution’s case, Arjune is known to the victim and her family; the alleged rape started when the victim was 12 years old in September 2020.
The teen claimed that she did not tell anyone about the incident because she was afraid.
It was further alleged that the rape continued until December 2020 when the victim turned 13 years old.
However, Arjune maintained that the victim and her family fabricated the story due to an old grievance.
The News Room understands that Arjune is currently serving a three-year sentence for cannabis trafficking.