By Latrishka Thomas
Leon Riley is now a free man after the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal overruled his rape conviction yesterday.
In 2019, High Court Judge Keith Thom sentenced the man to 15 years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of rape and serious indecency.
The incident reportedly occurred in April 2012 in the vicinity of Pensioners Beach where he allegedly took a 15-year-old girl and forced himself on her.
But yesterday, the appellate court scrapped the conviction and sentence on the grounds that the prosecution relied heavily on testimonies of witnesses which the victim reportedly told of the offence at the first opportunity (the common law rule of recent complaint).
But Section 28 of the Sexual Offenses Act No.9 of 1995 abolished the common law rules relating to evidence of recent complaint in sexual offence cases.
As a result, the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.
Riley was represented by Lawrence Daniels and Wendel Robinson.