Cape Town man to be sentenced for raping his girlfriend before she died

2018-10-29 05:42
Taariq Phillips and Sharisha Chauhan. (File, Netwerk24)

Taariq Phillips and Sharisha Chauhan. (File, Netwerk24)

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The boyfriend of a young woman who was found guilty of raping her at a New Year's Eve party shortly before she died is expected to be sentenced in the Western Cape High Court on Monday. 

During the judgment proceedings in September, Taariq Phillips appeared emotionless when he was acquitted of the murder of his girlfriend Sharisha Chauhan. He was, however, convicted of raping her before her death.

News24 previously reported that Chauhan died on New Year's Day in 2013 after being admitted to Paarl Mediclinic for a suspected drug overdose. Chauhan, Phillips (both 21 at the time) and several of their friends had attended a rave at Le Bac Estate in Paarl.

READ: Cape Town man acquitted of murdering girlfriend at New Year's Eve rave

The state had alleged that the group had taken drugs and went dancing that night, whereafter Chauhan started feeling ill. Phillips accompanied his girlfriend back to the tent, the prosecution claimed, and an hour later the accused called for help.

Chauhan was naked and convulsing in the tent, and paramedics treated her at the estate before she was transported to hospital where she later died. She had also suffered vaginal and anal injuries. According to the post-mortem, she died of strangulation.

Judge Lee Bozalek said in his judgment that there was no direct evidence that Phillips had strangled Chauhan. 

Bozalek said the state produced no direct evidence that Chauhan did not consent to sex with Phillips, but questioned if consent could have been given seeing that she had apparently been under the influence of LSD or MDMA, earlier complaining to a friend that she felt like she was "melting".

She was also apparently unable to sit up straight.

Phillips maintained they had not had sex, but Bozalek said evidence from two witnesses pointed to the contrary.

He found it unsubstantiated and improbable that Chauhan had injured herself while masturbating, and more likely that the injuries had been caused by Phillips.

Chauhan would have been unable to give consent, Bozalek said in his judgment. 

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Read more on:    judge lee bozalek  |  taariq phillips  |  sharisha chauhan  |  cape town  |  drugs  |  murder  |  judgment  |  overdose  |  rape  |  court

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