3 Sep 2012

Rape acquittal overturned on appeal

3:20 pm on 3 September 2012

The Court of Appeal has overturned the acquittal of a man on charges of raping and threatening to kill his partner of 19 years and mother of his three children despite the woman declaring him innocent while giving evidence.

The court has ordered a retrial.

The man, who has name suppression, had been found not guilty by the Nelson District Court after his partner said their sex had been consensual and she had not been assaulted.

She maintained this under cross-examination.

But in its ruling, the Court of Appeal quoted a police interview in which the woman said she was almost strangled and had been raped.

The court has ruled the judge was wrong to acquit the man on that basis.

It says new legislation recognises what it calls the reality of women retracting truthful complaints of violence by partners out of fear, loyalty, self-blame or guilt.