Friday, August 15, 2014

UK/Nigeria: Nigerian Expat Acquitted of All Sexual Abuse, Rape Charges

According to the UK-based The Essex Chronicle, a London underground worker blackmailed by a woman with sexual abuse allegations has today (August 15) been cleared of rape.

Wesley Eselojor, 50, of Belvawney Close, Chelmsford, has been acquitted of eight counts of sexual abuse by a girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen.  

The Chelmsford Crown Court jury of ten women and two men returned their verdict in less than two hours following the four-day trial.

Speaking after his acquittal the father-of-three said he was looking forward to getting some sleep and returning to work on Monday after a year which he described as "hellish."

“All the allegations were completely false,” said the Nigerian expat.

“I just want to say thank you to the jury. They’ve seen through the lies that the complainant has put forward. Apart from that, that’s all I can really say, I just want to go home now." 

COMMENT: What this extortion attempt has made so very clear is that in the absence of credible corroboration, such single allegations should never even reach a trial court.

Imagine if Wesley Eselojor had not been believed by the jury? 

Mr. Eselojor might well have ended up spending 15-30 years in prison, although hopefully a higher court appeal would hopefully have reversed a jury's decision if convicted.

Wesley claimed the woman, who cannot be named because she is a minor, conceived of the scheme to extort a large amount of money from the expat.

Prosecutor David Wilson told the court on Monday (August 11) how the woman last year sent a text message to Wesley Eselojor threatening to tell police and her family that he had raped her as a child if he did not pay her £5,000 (US$8,341.40).

Mr. Eselojor immediately showed the message to police prompting an investigation and his arrest.

When the woman gave evidence behind a screen on Tuesday (August 12), she said she did not report the offenses as a child, a period when she considered suicide, as no one would believe her.

“Today is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’ve got no reason to lie, why would I make it up?” she said, before she broke down in tears.

Defending barrister Charlotte Newell however continued to pour scorn over her evidence, describing her a compulsive liar.

Eselojor also told THE CHRONICLE: “When she sent the message demanding £5,000 by Friday, saying she would tell her mother, her father, her brother, her aunt if I did not give it to her, I thought I had to go to the police or she will continue doing what she wanted."

“I was angry, really angry, and in my mind I thought I have just got to go to the police straight away,” the defendant said under oath.

Family and friends attended court each day to support Wesley, including his brother, Peter Wog, who claimed the entire investigation had wasted time, energy and resources.

“I’m very grateful to them [the jury], as they they have been very supportive,” Eselojor said.

Eselojor had been accused of four counts of indecent assault, one count of indecency with children and one count of rape.

The one "loose end" that the presiding judge did not address during the proceedings is what punishment the plaintiff will experience for lying under oath?