Cousin found not guilty of rape

A 25-YEAR-OLD man wrongly accused of raping his cousin is free to get his life back on track after a jury found him not guilty of the allegations.

It took a five-man, seven-woman jury just a matter of minutes in deliberation to find the young man not guilty of the four counts of rape and one of indecent treatment he had been charged with.

Defence barrister Tim Ryan appeared for the young man, who he said had done everything in his power to prove his innocence, including taking to the witness stand.

"Allegations of sexual misconduct are easy to make, but difficult to refute," he said.

"I'm asking you to return a verdict of not guilty not as any favour to him, simply by applying the law to the facts of the case."

Mr Ryan said such allegations had the ability to "arouse strong feelings" and asked the jury to approach their task "dispassionately" and apply the law to the facts of the case.

"It's simply not an account that's improbable, it's an account that simply couldn't have happened," he said of the girl's story.

"The case demonstrated how easy it is or it can be to make false allegations against someone.

"The complainant's account is completely detached from reality."

Mr Ryan said there was an absence of any evidence to support the girl's claims.

"The reason no one saw nothing sexual happen is because it didn't happen," he said.

The charges against the man relate to a 12-month period between March 2001 and March 2002 and the others to a nine-month period between March 2006 and November 2006.

"When an allegation is made many years later, the opportunity of positively proving the allegations are false is often lost," he said.

"The quality of the complainant's evidence is questionable to start with, but when one looks at it and compares it to other evidence, it becomes even more concerning."