Doctor freed of rape charge after 15 years

Fifteen years after a patient accused him of rape, Dr Shauffie David Ali, the owner and medical director of Gulf View Medical Centre, was yesterday found not guilty.

As he walked out of the San Fernando High Court after being acquitted on two sex charges, Ali said, “I have a smile on my face. I feel good.”

Ali, 71, a gynaecologist, did not want to comment further.

Ali went on trial earlier this month before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas in the Second Criminal Court charged with grievous sexual assault and rape.

The woman, then 21, alleged that Ali raped her in his office at the medical centre in La Romaine on April 8, 2003.

The state’s case, led by state attorney Trevor Jones, was that the woman had attempted suicide after two miscarriages. She was warded at the medical centre on March 2003 and was discharged two days later.

The woman alleged she received a call from Ali’s office for her to make an appointment to see him. The woman claimed she visited Ali’s office on April 1 and 2, 2003.

She alleged that on the third visit, on April 8, the doctor raped her in his office.

However, the woman’s evidence had several inconsistencies.

Ali gave evidence and called three witnesses—his daughter, a receptionist and a nurse. The defence produced Ali’s appointment book, which showed there was no record of any appointment for the woman to see the doctor. The receptionist said she called the woman once for her to come to the office to pay her bill and not to set up an appointment. The nurse meanwhile said that on the day of the alleged rape she was in the theatre with the doctor, who was performing a caesarian.

The jury took an hour to return with not guilty verdicts to both charges.

Jones was assisted by attorney Rebecca Trim-Wright while Ali was represented by attorneys Pamela Elder SC and John Heath.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Sascha Wilson)

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