RIVERINA Catholic priest Father Neru Leuea was found not guilty of sexual intercourse without consent in the Wagga District Court on Monday afternoon.
Judge Gordon Lerve made the finding and said he could not ascertain an offence had occurred within the time-frame set out in the indictment. The rape was said to have occurred in Griffith in January, 2003.
Leuea maintained he wasn’t in the city at the time and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Judge Lerve said he found the matter “deeply troubling”. “I’ve thought about this consistently during the evidence overnight and during the weekend,” he said. “I keep coming back to the issue of the time-frame.” The judge also described Leuea as a “less than impressive witness”.