A man alleged to have forced his way into a woman's home and raped her three times has been found not guilty by a jury.
Jason Andre Werahika Hikaka went on trial before Judge Stephanie Edwards and a jury in the Whanganui District Court last week, facing three charges of rape and one each of breaching a protection order, impedes breathing and wounding with reckless disregard.
At the start of his trial, before a jury of eight men and four women, the 52-year-old pleaded guilty to breaching a protection order and not guilty to the remaining five charges.
On Monday, after hearing four-and-a-half days of evidence, the jury retired to consider its verdict.
Within an hour-and-a-half the jury returned with not guilty verdicts to all of the remaining charges.
During the trial, Crown prosecutor Harry Mallalieu submitted Hikaka forced his way into the Whanganui home of his victim - the pair were known to each other - in November 2019 and rejected her pleas to leave.
Mallalieu claimed Hikaka raped the woman three times during the night, while her young children were present, despite her requests for him to stop.
Hikaka squeezed the woman's throat with his hand so she couldn't breathe at one stage, he said.
Defence lawyer Debbie Goodlet submitted the sex was consensual and told the jury Hikaka denied putting his hands around the woman's throat.
Hikaka was convicted on the charge of breaching a protection order he had pleaded guilty to and Judge Edwards sentenced him to eight months imprisonment.
The sentence was effectively time served as Hikaka had been in custody since his arrest in November 2019 as bail had been declined.
Sexual harm - Where to get help
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