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PEOPLE VS. GODOY G.R. Nos. 115908-09 (December 6, 1995) F!"S# This is an automatic review of the decision of the RTC in view of the death sentence imposed upon Danny Godoy, who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of rape and kidnapping with serious illegal detention. Complainant Mia Taha alleged that Godoy, her hysics Teacher and a married man raped her first on !an. "#, #$$% in her cousin&s boarding. 's Godoy was about to rape her, a knife was pointed at her neck. 's such, she was not able to resist. The ne(t day, Godoy came by their house and asked the permission of her parents if she can )oin him in soliciting funds, since Mia was a candidate for Ms. alawan *ational +chool *+-. Mia&s parents allowed her to go with Godoy and she was allegedly brought to the +unset Garden Motel where she was repeatedly raped again. 'fter three days, they transferred to dward&s subdivision where she was kept in a lodging house and was again raped. During this time, a police blotter had already been placed for the missing Mia. +he was later released by Godoy after a certain *aem interceded and only after her parents agreed to settle the case. /t was after Mia&s return that her parents accompanied her to a medico0legal which found lacerations in her vagina concluding that 1 she just had sexual intercourse .2 +he and her mother 3elen went to the police and e(ecuted sworn statements stating that the accused Godoy had raped and abducted Mia. Godoy denied that he raped Mia Taha. 3e admitted having had se( with her and that they indeed stayed in +unset Gardens and in dward&s +ubdivision, but it was because they were lovers and that Mia had consented to their having se(. To support his claim that they were lovers, he presented two letters supposedly delivered to him by Mia&s cousin, 4orna, in the provincial )ail while he was detained. There Mia e(plained that it was her parents who forced her to testify against him. The delivery of the letters was denied by 4orna but the defense presente presented d the provincial )ail guard on duty on the supposed supposed dates of the delivery and testified that indeed 4orna had visited visited Godoy Godoy on said dates. +everal +everal witnesse witnesses s were also presente presented d includi including ng two former teachers of Mia who knew the handwriting on the two said letters as belonging to Mia. 5ther witnesses were presented by the defense attesting that they saw the two together in a manner that was affectionate and cordial, prior to the said 1kidnapping2 and even during such. $ss%es# 6hether or not the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused7 Wh et h ero rn oti nr a pec a s es ,t h ec o mp mp l a i n an t ' sc l a i mo fh a v i n gb ee nt h r e at e ne dc a nb e t ak enasamat t erofj udi c i al not i c e? R%&'# The basic rule remains that in all criminal prosecutions without regard to the nature of the defense which the accused may raise, the burden of proof remains at all times upon the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. /f the accused raises a sufficient doubt as to any material element, and the prosecution is then unable to overcome this evidence, the prosecution has failed to carry its burden of proof of the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt and the accused must be ac8uitted. *o, the prosecution failed to prove guilt of Godoy. The trial court made no serious effort to dispassionately dispassionately or impartially consider consider the totality of the evidence for the prosecution in spite of the teaching in various rulings that in rape cases, the testimony of the offended party must
not be accepted with precipitate credulity. /n finding that the crime of rape was committed, the lower court took into account o&* that portion of the testimony of complainant regarding the incident and conveniently deleted the rest. Taken singly, there would be reason to believe that she was indeed raped. 9ut if we are to consider the other portions of her testimony concerning the events which transpired thereafter, which unfortunately the court a quo wittingly or unwittingly failed or declined to appreciate, the actual truth could have been readily e(posed. The +upreme Court ac8uitted Danny Godoy. Three guiding principles in the appellate review of the evidence of the prosecution for the crime of rape, namely: a- while rape is a most detestable crime, it must be borne in mind that it is an accusation easy to be made, hard to be proved, but harder to be defended by the party accused, though innocent; b- the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinipon closer scrutiny, however, we find that said findings neither support nor confirm the charge that rape was so committed through forcible means by appellant against complainant on !anuary "#, #$$%. Dr. Divinagracia further testified that he could not say that there was force applied because there were no scratches or bruises, but only a week0old laceration-.
6hile the ?sweetheart theory? does not often gain favor with this Court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that the accused and the supposed victim are, in truth, intimately related e(cept that, as is usual in most cases, either the relationship is illicit or the victim=s parents are against it. /t is not improbable that in some instances, when the relationship is uncovered, the alleged victim or her parents for that matter would rather take the risk of instituting a criminal action in the hope that the court would take the cudgels for them than for the woman to admit to her own acts of indiscretion. 'nd this, as the records reveal, is precisely what happened to appellant. 'ppellant=s claim that he and complainant were lovers is fortified by the highly credible testimonies of several witnesses for the defense The +C also takes )udicial cogni