Court of Appeal upholds acquittal of police officer for rape

Ernest (right) with his counsel Francis.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Feb 18: A Court of Appeal three-men bench unanimously affirmed the judgment of the Sessions Courts which discharged and acquitted a police officer who was charged with raping a female gym instructor.

Led by Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan, the court today unanimously dismissed the appeal by the public prosecutor.

The respondent, Ernest John, was discharged and acquitted by the Sessions Court in 2018. The public prosecutor then appealed to the Kuching High Court. However, High Court Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie dismissed the appeal.

The deputy public prosecutor represented by Nik Syahril Nik Abdul Rahman then made an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

On June 29, 2018, Sessions Court Judge Timothy Finlayson Joel had ordered that the respondent, Ernest, who was then Kuching District deputy police chief, to be discharged and acquitted. Ernest was charged under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code for raping a female gym instructor between the months of April and May 2016 at an apartment unit in Tabuan Dayak.

Judge Timothy found there was no threat or force exerted on the woman while the respondent and woman had sex and the case rested on consent. He found that the woman did not express her protest in words or acts consistent with refusal to have sex despite having the opportunity many times from March to May 2016.

Meanwhile, High Court Judge Yew found there were no merits in the appeal and therefore dismissed the said appeal.

The respondent was represented by Francis Teron Kadap. — DayakDaily