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A 42-YEAR-OLD police detective accused of raping his juvenile stepdaughter was on Thursday freed by a Masvingo regional magistrate after the complainant told the court that she had been “coached” to incriminate him.

The nine-year-old complainant exonerated her stepfather who was facing two counts of rape. Instead the complainant told the court she had been abused by four other named juveniles.

She told the court in camera that she was sexually abused by their maid’s boyfriend.

Masvingo senior regional magistrate Mrs Judith Zuyu ruled that the accused was being wrongly implicated judging from the evidence submitted by the complainant.

The State, led by prosecutor Ms Moreblessing Rusere, had lined up the complainant and her grandmother to testify.

Defence lawyer Mr Frank Chirairo of Makausi Saratoga Law Chambers said the accused denied ever raping his stepdaughter whom he said was notorious and repeatedly absconded school.

Mr Chirairo also told the court that the complainant was at one time “chastised” by her mother after being caught being intimate with a boy sometime early this year.

He said there was bad blood between the accused and his mother-in-law, which could have influenced the latter to “coach” the complainant to prefer false charges against him.

Mr Chirairo also argued the accused had no case to answer since he had already been acquitted by a police internal disciplinary hearing conducted soon after the rape allegations first surfaced.

Allegations against the detective were that sometime in April this year, he confronted the complainant after the two had remained alone at their house in Masvingo.

He then allegedly removed the complainant’s clothes before raping her once. The State alleged that at another date in the same month, the detective again took aantage of the situation and raped her once.

The complainant then told her grandmother who then made a report to police leading to the detective’s arrest.

Source : The Herald