19th Jan, 2019

Man charged with rape says sexual activity with 15-year-old was consensual

PROSECUTORS have decided to offer no evidence on rape charges against a Leamington man who had insisted his sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl was consensual.

And five other men facing other allegations in relation to the same girl heard at Warwick Crown Court all the charges against them were also being dropped.

Januario da Costa Gusmao, 30, of Shrubland Street, Leamington, had pleaded not guilty at the court to three charges of raping a 15-year-old girl last summer.

The six men had been due to stand trial together.

But at a further hearing, with all but Gusmao in the dock, prosecutor Georgina Gibbs said it had been decided to offer no evidence against the six men on any of those charges.

Previously the court had heard that a large number of mobile phones were to be examined before the trial, which had now been done.

And Miss Gibbs revealed there were a series of messages between the girl and Gusmao – 65 of which could be considered to be “in romantic or loving terms”.

She added there were also three messages from the girl to a friend of hers expressing similar thoughts.

But Miss Gibbs pointed out the reason for it ending followed a clarifying interview with the girl which showed ‘a significant omission’ about what had happened the night before the main rape allegation.

It had therefore been decided to offer no evidence against the five men in the dock on all the charges they faced – and Judge Anthony Potter therefore entered not guilty verdicts.

In a separate hearing Gusmao, who had also denied sexual activity with the girl and engaging in sexual communication with her for sexual gratification, and a similar charge in relation to the other 15-year-old, appeared alone in the dock.

At the request of his barrister Ann Cotcher QC, they were put to Gusmao again – and he changed his pleas to guilty.

Gusmao was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.

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