Man freed of rape charge
St Catherine resident, Collin Russell, who was was accused of raping a teenager four years ago in a rural community in the parish, was freed in the St Catherine Circuit Court following a formal order by the judge.
When the matter was called up on Wednesday, attorney Tamika Harris successfully argued for the case to be dismissed due to the prolonged absence of the complainant.
It was revealed that the complainant has not attended court since January 2016 when the matter was first placed before the high court.
The crown conceded that the woman failed to attend the court and that attempts to locate her have proven futile.
Presiding judge, Justice Christine McDonald then instructed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
It is alleged that on December 25, 2013, the accused raped the complainant, who was conducting domestic chores at his home.
A report was made to the Linstead police and the matter referred to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.
Following a probe, he was arrested and later charged. He made numerous court appearances and maintained his innocence throughout.