Headline — 07 July 2018 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Accused, undefended rapist acquitted

Rudolph “Tubba” Smith, 43, identified by the victim in ID parade and in court, and with no alibi witness and without a lawyer, won unanimous verdict against Crown Counsel Killeru Awich

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 5, 2018– A jury of 7 women and 2 men deliberated for about 6 hours on Tuesday, July 3, in the court of Justice Colin Williams, before it found Rudolph Smith, 43, aka “Tubba”, not guilty of rape and aggravated burglary. The jury’s verdict was unanimous.

The allegation was that in the early morning hours of November 23, 2011, Smith entered as a trespasser a house in Belize City and raped a girl who was 16 years old at the time, at knife point.

To prove its case, the Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Killeru Awich, called the virtual complainant, who testified that she was awakened when she felt someone on her back. She said that when she got up, she saw that it was a man with a knife about 10 inches long in his hand.

She said the man told her to shut up, otherwise he would hurt her sister, who was asleep on a bed in the same room. She testified that the man put the knife to her throat and told her to take off her pants, and she complied.

She said the man then took off her underwear and raped her. She said that the man left through the back door after he had been on top of her for about 10 minutes. She identified Smith as the perpetrator at an identification parade and she identified him in the dock.

Her sister testified and corroborated most of her testimony. Her mother also testified, that she got up to use the bathroom and she heard movements, but she did not think anything of it.

Smith gave a statement from the dock in which he denied that he committed the offences. He wanted to call an alibi witness, but said that he could not do so because the witness was unable to come to court.

Smith was not represented by an attorney.

Apparently the jury believed that the Crown did not adduce enough evidence for a conviction for either offence.

But although Smith was acquitted, he was not freed because he is serving a sentence of 15 years for aggravated burglary and sexual assault.

In September 2012, Ann Marie Smith, who was the Chief Magistrate at the time, found Smith guilty of aggravated burglary and sexual assault of a girl who was 15 years old. Smith was sentenced to 15 years for aggravated burglary and to 3 years for sexual assault, with the stipulation that the sentences were to run concurrently.

The incident occurred in Hattieville. The girl testified that on July 23, 2011, she was awakened when she felt Smith on top of her. She said Smith put a knife to her throat and he began to fondle her.

She said Smith told her to take off her pants and she refused to do so. She said one of her siblings who was asleep in the same room awoke and turned on the light. Then both of them began to scream.
Smith, she said, then ran out of the house.

Smith testified and denied that he committed the offences. He said he was passing by the house when he saw someone enter it. He called his sister as an alibi witness. But based on her evidence, the prosecutor posited to her that she could not say for certain whether Smith was at home at the time.

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Deshawn Swasey

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