Scarlett Keeling’s lover cleared of sexual assault chargesNovember 11th, 2008 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Nov 11 (IANS) The Goa Children’s Court has dropped the sexual assault charges against murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling’a lover Julio Lobo, but ordered that he be booked for staying with the minor girl in violation of the Goa Children’s Act.Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown had entrusted her 15-year-old daughter in 27-year-old Julio’s care before leaving for Gokarna in Karnataka with friends and family earlier this year.
According to Scarlett’s personal diary, she had sexual relations with Lobo and was staying at his Siolim residence in the absence of her mother. The teenager’s bruised and semi-naked body was found on the sea shore of Goa’s Anjuna beach just before dawn on Feb 18.
On Monday, Goa Children’s Court President Desmond D’Costa issued a order clearing Lobo of all sexual assault charges.
“There are absolutely no materials to even prima facie make out the charge. The contents of the diary cannot be admissible as evidence as they are statements made by the victim in anticipation of death. The contents of the diary are not dying declarations,” the order reads.
Scarlett’s personal diary, which was leaked to the media, had created a sensation due to the graphic and candid personal confessions of the teenager. There were several references to drug abuse, loneliness and sexual encounters.
Although the court dropped sexual assault charges against Lobo, D’Costa has directed that charges be framed against him for living with a minor non-blood relative, which is in violation of the provisions of the Goa Children’s Act.
Under the Goa Children’s Act, 2003 Section 8(4) and 8(9), the women and child development director has to be informed in writing if an adult is residing with a minor child who is not a blood relative. Violators are liable to be punished with a fine of Rs.100,000 and imprisonment for one year.
After Scarlett’s body was found, the Goa police initially said the teenager had drowned. However, MacKeown accused the Goa police of malpractice and campaigned for a second autopsy, which concluded that Scarlett had more than 50 bruises and that she had been given ecstasy, cocaine and LSD on the night she died. Police then announced she had been raped and murdered.
Mackeown had alleged that Goa’s Home Minister Ravi Naik and his son Roy and the drug mafia operating in Goa were linked to her daughter’s murder.