A second year student at Maseno University stunned a Kisumu court after she pressed for withdrawal of rape charges against her fourth year colleague.
The expectant student, (name withheld) walked into the magistrate’s court in Kisumu yesterday afternoon and requested—for the second time—that the case against the accused be withdrawn. She said she had forgiven him.
Principal Magistrate Thomas Obutu withdrew the case that could have earned her alleged tormentor a life sentence.
The woman had accused fourth year student of raping her on December 13, 2015 at around 3pm at Maseno near Athanas hostels in Kisumu West Sub-County and infecting her with HIV. He was arrested three days later.
The charge sheet read that the accused had sex with the complainant, while knowing that he had HIV, which causes Aids.
However, the woman told The Standard later that after that she tested HIV negative immediately after withdrawing the case.
“I have tested myself and I am negative. The child I am carrying is also not his,” she explained.
In the second count, the man was accused of deliberate transmission of HIV contrary to section 26(i) (b) of Sexual Offences Act No. 3 of 2006.
The count stated: “Having actual knowledge that he was infected with HIV, he intentionally and willfully had unprotected sex with the girl.”
He was arraigned in court on December 18, 2015 to take plea before Mr Obutu. But he denied the charge.
The investigating officer requested that the accused be escorted to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) to have his DNA samples taken.
The accused was later released on a Sh200,000 bond.
The case took a turn on May 25, 2016 when the State counsel told the court that the complainant wanted to withdraw the case.
The application was declined by the presiding magistrate who directed that the matter proceeds on September 15, 2016 (yesterday).
The heavily pregnant woman again requested that she be allowed to terminate the case. This prompted the magistrate to allow the application and make her swear an oath to that effect.
“As the complainant, I wish to withdraw the matter. I have forgiven the accused. I have not been forced to do it. I have not been compensated. I am aware that I will not bring the matter again,” she swore.
And with that oath, a case came tumbling down. The law does allow a complainant to withdraw a case.
The magistrate pointed out that since the complainant is an adult, she was free to withdraw the matter.
“I am aware of the seriousness of the offense but since the law allows withdrawal, I will have the application allowed. Accordingly, matter is withdrawn,” ruled Obutu.
An uncle to the man said the decision by the woman to withdraw the case was a big reprieve to their family.
“We have been praying. His father passed on when he was hardly three years. His mother has nothing,” said the relative, adding that the family feared that he could be expelled from the university.
The complainant said that she decided to withdraw the case as the court process was stressful to her.
“Now I am happy that the case is no more. Furthermore, we happen to come from the same area back in Sakwa, and I thought it would bring unnecessary strife between our families,” she said.
She emphasised that the child she was carrying did not belong to the man.