Bailed rape suspect back into custody for pestering victim to dump case

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By Mary Taruvinga

A 24-year-old attempted rape suspect who had been admitted to bail has landed himself back into custody after he has been pestering his victim to withdraw the charges against him, forcing the court to revoke his bail conditions.

Lukas James stands accused of trying to rape his neighbour’s maid in a recent scuffle which lasted over 30 minutes.

The victim managed to escape while he was trying to put on a condom after tearing her clothes and under garments.

“She was my girlfriend. I wanted us to settle the issue outside the courts since we were lovers,” he said in court after the prosecutor accused him of interfering with the witness.

“I didn’t even know it was an offence to sit next to her in court, if the court could forgive me,” he begged.

However, Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa ruled that he should stay behind bars for not respecting court rules.

“If you admit you spoke to the complainant to have charges withdrawn, that is interference. Your bail conditions are hereby revoked,” she ruled.

James was out of custody on $100 bail before he tried to intimidate his alleged victim.

Prosecuting, Shepherd Makonde alleged that James proposed love to the girl who turned him down November this year.

On November 19, James followed the girl into the house after she had finished doing some laundry.

It is further alleged he started pushing her against the kitchen wall while trying to undress her.

He then tore her skirt and according to the state, the victim noticed that his trousers zip was already open.

The girl escaped and tried to run into the bathroom to lock herself up while screaming for help.

However, no one heard her screams since there was nobody at the house or close by.

It is further alleged, James caught up with her before she could reach the bathroom.

He is said to have torn her blouse and started fondling her privates while trying to put on a condom.

As he was busy with the condom while pinning her down, the girl managed to push him off and escaped from the house.

The girl called her employer and informed her of what had happened and latter helped her report the matter to the police.

James’ trial starts January 16 next year.