20-year-old West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Educations (WASSCE) candidate has been acquitted and discharged of sexual penetration by Justice Momoh Jah Stevens on 12th January.

He was taken to court allegedly sexually penetrating a 17-year-old child. The High Court Judge said sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of accused persons charged with sexual penetration was still a challenge to the court.

The accused was before the court on one count of sexual penetration of a child, contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012.

State Prosecutor, M.P. Sesay had alleged that the accused on 1st September 2020, penetrated a child under the age of 18 to wit 17, but he had denied the charge. To prove their case, the prosecution summoned three witnesses and tendered exhibit in support of their case.

Whilst reading the judgment, Justice Stevens said the prosecution had a duty to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction on the offence charged.

The judge noted that he was mindful of the fact that an accused is entitled to an acquittal if there is no direct or circumstantial evidence to establish his guilt, and that he was also aware that any iota of doubt must be in favour of the accused person.

The judge noted that the victim in her testimony said that she was dating the accused person, but however noted that the accused didn’t sleep with her at any time. He said the voluntary caution statement of the accused was a complete denial of the allegation against him.

The judge said none of the prosecution witnesses in any way corroborated the testimony of the victim. The judge advised  the accused person not to involve with any underage girl again and that if any matter related to sexual penetration came before him he will give the maximum sentence to him

“I have advised myself that any doubt must be resolved in favour of the accused person. It is my view that this accused is not guilty of the offence of sexual penetration. I therefore acquit and discharge him,” he said.