After his second trial this year, 46-year-old Arjune Mahadeo was again freed of the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl.
Mahadeo clapped joyfully before being moved to tears late yesterday afternoon, when the jury forewoman announced that he had been found not guilty of the offence, with the verdict decided by a majority of 11 to 1 at the High Court in Georgetown.
After the verdict was announced, Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, who presided over the trial, informed Mahadeo that the jury had found him not guilty and he was therefore free to go.
The 12-member jury returned its verdict after deliberating for about two hours.
In February, Mahadeo walked out of the High Court a free man after the jury hearing his case was unable to arrive at a verdict. It was deadlocked 9 to 3.a
Mahadeo, called “Mukesh,” had been charged with penetrating a girl under the age of 16 on August 25, 2015. He had denied the charge. The state’s case was presented by prosecutors Mandel Moore and Lisa Cave, who called five witnesses to the stand. Mahadeo, meanwhile, was represented by attorney Satyesh Kissoon.
The prosecution’s case was that Mahadeo was a friend of the young girl’s family and they all attended the same church.
On the day in question, the court had been told, he had gotten permission from the girl’s parents to take her to a wedding function at Mahaicony.
The court had heard that the man had bought chicken for the girl and took her to his house afterward. It was the state’s case that he called her into his bedroom to apply medication on sore she had on one of her shoulders and thereafter raped her.
The proceedings of the trial were held in-camera.