Man found guilty of rape

HOANE Joseph Kahu was found guilty on one of three counts of rape by a district court jury yesterday.

The jury was deadlocked on two counts of rape of a 15-year-old girl in Gladstone's central business district in March. Kahu was found guilty of rape by fellatio, but a decision was "hopelessly deadlocked'' on the other two counts, the court was told.

Both counts of rape against Kahu have been adjourned until next year, along with his sentence on the guilty charge.

Twenty-one-year-old Kahu wept as the jury handed down its guilty verdict.

After being sent off to deliberate, the jury returned about noon yesterday to ask what the course of action would be if they were unable to reach a verdict on all three counts.

They then returned at 3.05pm and were asked by Judge Howell if they were making progress, to which they replied yes.

However, after further deliberation the jury notified the court they were unable to make a decision on the two counts.

One juror was excused from proceedings yesterday before the verdict was made because of an ongoing illness.

During the trial, defence counsel Jack Farrell maintained that sexual activity had occurred but that it had been consensual. Following the initial allegations, the accused provided police with a DNA sample which matched semen found on the complainant's dress.

Kahu originally denied the sexual activity, claiming he did so because he was embarrassed about cheating on his girl-friend.

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