A HOSPITAL mortuary attended has been acquitted of rape after a Harare magistrate ruled that his alleged victim, a married woman who was also pregnant, agreed to have sex in the hospital morgue.
Tapiwa Goto, 26, had pleaded not guilty to raping nurse aide, Constance Katiza, in October last year after they met in a Parirenyatwa Hospital corridor.
Prosecutors said Goto forcibly dragged the married woman who was also pregnant and had a child at home into the hospital mortuary where he rapped her once before being interrupted by a male colleague.
But regional magistrate Memory Chagwiza dismissed the charges saying Katiza consented to the sex and only reported the alleged rape after Goto failed to pay her and she had also been reported to police for extortion.
“It was common cause that accused and complainant came to an agreement where accused would pay compensation and complainant only made a report of rape after she had been arrested for extortion,” Chagwiza said.
“It would appear that she consented to sexual intercourse and after she had been caught red-handed by the defence witness having sex in the mortuary, this may have caused her to report rape out of shame since she is married, pregnant and has a child at home.”
Chagwiza agreed with a defence witness who said Katiza could have been helped had she screamed while Goto allegedly dragged her to the mortuary since the hospital has police details stationed no more than 10 metres from the morgue.
“The court wonders why complainant didn’t scream to alert people,” the magistrate said.
“The court does not believe complainant that had she screamed no-one would have come to her rescue as people would assume someone’s relative had died.
“A cry for help for someone in danger is different from a cry for a deceased relative.”
Prosecutors had argued that Goto forced Katiza into an office at the hospital morgue and raped her once before being interrupted by his colleague and friend, Stan Chikonde.
“Complainant did not alert him (Chikonde) about the sexual act,” the magistrate said.
“Instead, she combed her hair and arranged her clothing.”
The court heard that after they had been discovered, Katiza reported the alleged attack to the hospital matron. Goto admitted that he had sex in the morgue but promised to "do something" for Katiza by way of compensation.
The nurse aide reported the case as rape after failing to get hold of Goto and his wife to receive her compensation.
Said the magistrate: “If she had been raped there was no need for her to agree for compensation in order for her not to report the case.
“There was nothing for her to negotiate with a rapist, therefore accused is found not guilty and acquitted.”