Edward Arthurs, 34, a Belize City man who was arrested on June 13, 2006, was acquitted of charges of rape and theft before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize Supreme Court on Friday, October 12.
The jury of five men and four women deliberated for almost three hours before returning a unanimous verdict on both charges.
A few inconsistencies in the testimony of the complainant, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, failed to convince the jury.
She said she had noticed Arthurs following her when she was at Cumberbatch Field. She further testified that she saw Arthurs following her for almost two miles, even though there was a two-hour blackout in Belize City at the time of the incident in July 2004.
She said she felt someone grab her from behind as she passed Carter’s Upholstery, near the Lord Ridge Cemetery, and her assaillant quickly covered her face with a rag.
She said she passed out awoke to find herself lying naked on top of a grave in the Lord Ridge Cemetery with the accused also naked on top of her, having sexual intercourse with her.
She said she had scratched her attacker several times as she struggled with him, but he then put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the attack.
She said he thensearched the pockets of her pants, stealing $200 and a bottle of Victoria Secret lotion she had in her hand.
Arthurs was first charged with robbery, which was later amended to theft, because there was no evidence that he had used force to steal the money or the lotion.
In a statement from the dock, Arthurs said he was near a Chinese shop on Queen Charlotte Street in the Yarborough area at the time of the incident.
He said the complainant approached him in the shop, and they had an altercation during which he slapped her and that was why she had accused him of rape and robbery.
Crown Counsel Thalia Megan-Francis represented the Crown; while Arthurs was unrepresented by an attorney.
Arthurs and Noel Usher had been acquitted in 2009 of the 2006 murder of security guard Oliver Blanco, 58, who was shot dead on Fabers Road.
Arthurs had been unable to meet bail when it was offered so he has been in prison for the past six years.