A woman who claimed she had been raped while drunk ran crying from the Royal Court as she learned her alleged aggressor had been found 'not guilty'.
Manuel Ricardo dos Ramos Aguilar (24) walked away a free man this afternoon after a non-unanimous jury acquitted him following a three-day trial over whether he had sex with a young woman without her consent in autumn 2017.
Seated in the public gallery, members of Mr Aguilar’s family and a witness who had testified to his good character, cried and hugged each other as Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq announced the decision.
The complainant, who had sat throughout the trial in the public gallery after giving her evidence, left as the Deputy Bailiff thanked the jury for the care they had taken in a distressing case.
Pictured: Advocate Adam Harrison represented Mr Aguilar.
The jury’s decision came following five hours of deliberation. Having heard closing statements from the defence and prosecution, the group of nine women and three men retired to make their decision on Wednesday afternoon.
They returned to the Royal Court at noon today to inform the Deputy Bailiff that they had been unable to reach a verdict upon which they were all agreed.
“Do you think, with additional time, that you would be able to reach a unanimous decision?”, the Deputy Bailiff asked the foreman.
“No, sir”, he replied.
After Mr Le Cocq told the jury that he would accept a majority verdict, the jury members walked to the front of the Court and, in turn, whispered their individual decisions to the Deputy Bailiff and the Greffier.
After a brief pause, Mr Le Cocq told Mr Aguilar that he had been acquitted and was free to leave the Court.
Advocate Adam Harrison represented Mr Aguilar during the trial, while Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood had appeared for the prosecution.
Mr Aguilar had been accused of raping Miss X in 2017 after he had helped her home across St Helier following an evening of celebrations with friends during which both the complainant and Mr Aguilar admitted drinking substantial quantities of alcohol.
Although neither of them had any direct recollection of what took place in Miss X’s flat early that morning, she became pregnant and DNA testing showed that Mr Aguilar was the father.
However, he denied that he had had sexual intercourse without her consent.
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