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PEOPLEV.ALEJANDRORELLOTA

GRNO.168103

AUGUST3,2010

FACTS:

TheCAaffirmedwithmodificationsthedecisionoftheRTCAntipoloCityBranch73,finding

theappellantguiltybeyondreasonabledoubtoftwocountsofconsummatedrapeandone

countofattemptedrape.Theantecedentfactsarethefollowing:

AAAwasbornonJuly16,1981inXXX,EasternSamarandwasalittleovertwelve(12)years

oldwhentheincidentsallegedlyhappened.Togetherwithhersiblings,BBBandCCC,AAA livedwithheraunt,DDD,andthelatter'ssecondhusband,appellant.Alsolivingwiththem

weretwo(2)ofAAA'scousins.Duringthatperiod,DDDandappellantweresendingAAA,BBB

andCCCtoschool.Atthetimetheincidentstookplace,DDDwasworkingoverseas.Based onthetestimonyofAAA,appellanthadbeenkissingherandtouchingherprivatepartssince September 1993. She claimed that appellant raped her several times between September

1993andJanuary1994.Shenarratedthatappellantwouldusuallyrapeheratnightwhenthe

other members of the family were either out of the house or asleep. AAA stated that she resistedtheadvancesofappellant,butwasnotsuccessful.Appellantwouldusuallyplacea bolobesidehimwheneverhewouldrapeher.SheaddedthatappellantwouldthreatenAAA bytellingherthathewouldkillherbrotherandsisterandthathewouldstopsendingherto

school.AroundnoonofDecember20,1993,appellantfollowedAAAtothebedroomafterthe

latter took a bath. Appellant tied her hands with a rope and forcibly inserted his penis. Thereafter,appellantuntiedthehandsandleft.Afewmomentslater,appellantreturnedand rapedheragain.ThesameincidenthappenedagainonJanuary31,1994. Afterwards,AAA toldheroldersisterabouttherepeateddeedsoftheappellant.HersisteraccompaniedAAAto thepolicestation.

Innotimposingthepenaltyofdeath,thetrialcourtreasonedoutthatAAAwasalreadyover12

yearsoldatthetimetheincidentshappenedandthatalthoughshewasbelow18yearsold,

therelationshipofAAAandtheappellanthadnotbeensufficientlyestablishedasthemarriage

betweenAAA'sauntandtheappellantwasnotsupportedbyanydocumentaryevidence.

ISSUE:

Whetherornottheconvictionoftheappellantbythetrialcourtiscorrectduetothe

inconsistenciesinthetestimonyofAAA.

RULING:

TheCourtfindstheappealbereftofanymerit.Theclaimofappellantthathecouldnothave

rapedAAAbecausehiswifewasstillinthecountryduringtheallegedperiodwhentherape

wascommittedissoflimsythatitdoesnotdeserveeventheslightestconsideration.Ithas

beenoftsaidthatlustisnorespecteroftimeorplace.Neitherthecrampnessoftheroom,nor

thepresenceofotherpeopletherein,northehighriskofbeingcaught,hasbeenheldsufficient

andeffectiveobstacletodeterthecommissionofrape.Therehavebeentoomanyinstances

whenrapewascommittedundercircumstancesasindiscreetandaudaciousasaroomfullof

familymemberssleepingsidebyside.Thereisnorulethatawomancanonlyberapedin

seclusion.

Nevertheless,thesaidinconsistenciespointedoutbyappellantareminoroneswhichdonot affectthecredibilityofAAAnorerasethefactthatthelatterwasraped.Theinconsistencies aretrivialandforgivable,sinceavictimofrapecannotpossiblygiveanexactingdetailforeach ofthepreviousincidents,sincethesemayjustbebutmerefragments ofaprolongedand continuingnightmare,acalvaryshemightevenbestrugglingtoforget.