THE High Court in Moshi District has acquitted Stanley Urio, who had been sentenced to 30 years in prison with 1.5m/- fine in compensation for raping an old woman.
The decision was made on Saturday by Judge Adrian Kilimi after the court was satisfied that the prosecution in the case failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the Tanzania Legal Information Institute (TANZLII), it was stated that during the hearing of the case, the victim stated that she failed to recognize the rapist because she was not in a good position to see him because a strong flashlight was lit in the direction of her face, making it difficult for her to identify clearly if the appellant was the one who raped her.
“The victim failed to properly recognize the appellant due to the light of the flashlight that was directed to her face, and literally, the person behind the flashlight could not be identified easily,” explained Judge Kilimi.
It was also stated that the prosecution failed to call an important witness named Rogath Urio, who allegedly saw the appellant behind the victim on the date the criminal offence was committed.
Due to the doubts, Judge Kilimi ordered the appellant to be released unless there were other legal reasons for him to remain behind bars.
In the trial, it was alleged that the appellant committed the offense on April 30, last year at Mwika, Moshi District in Kilimanjaro Region.
It was alleged that on the day of the incident in the evening, the victim was on her way to the church at Mwika, and because she had a flashlight with weak batteries, she went to a store to buy new batteries but missed them.
It was alleged that while at the store, she met the appellant, who was talking on his mobile phone, and left the store unsuccessfully.
On the way, she met a man named Rogath and asked him to help her by lighting up the way with his torch so she wouldn’t miss the steps, but Rogath told her to ask for help from the appellant, who was behind her.
It was alleged that while there the appellant seduced the victim and promised her 20,000/- and when she refused he raped her.