DOJ affirms junking of rape raps vs Vhong Navarro
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has affirmed its decision clearing television host and actor Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro from rape complaint filed by model Deniece Cornejo.
In a 20-page resolution dated April 30, the DOJ denied the petition for review filed by Cornejo that sought a reversal of the DOJ’s Sept. 6, 2017, which stated that there is not enough evidence to charge Navarro in court.
Cornejo accused Navarro of two counts of rape by sexual intercourse and by sexual assault.
The DOJ, in its September, 2017 ruling said Cornejo’s version of the incident that took place on Jan. 17, and 22, 2014, “suffers from a very serious credibility issue.”
The DOJ noted that Cornejo filed two other complaints against Navarro on the same incident. However, Cornejo “changed her story each time.”
On her first complaint, Cornejo said Navarro pinned her down, touched her private parts but when he was about to rape her, her friends arrived at her condominium unit.
Then, on her second complaint involving the same date—Jan. 22, 2014—Cornejo accused Navarro of rape. She said she was drugged so that Navarro had managed to rape her.
Both of her first and second complaints have been dismissed.
On her third complaint, Cornejo said when she gave the actor permission to visit her at her condominium unit on Jan. 17, 2014, she invited her friend to stay by her side. She said Navarro arrived carrying a bottle of wine. Cornejo said when her friend called that she cannot make it, she asked Navarro to leave. However, she felt dizzy from the wine and her legs and arms became weak.
Then, on Jan. 22, 2014, she said Navarro messaged her saying he wanted to come to her place to apologize. She said she agreed but called her other friends, the group of businessman Cedric Lee.
The DOJ, in its resolution said Cornejo tried to offer an explanation on her inconsistent testimonies. She said she was “confused and traumatized” that she “mindlessly” signed her first complaint-affidavit.
But the DOJ, in its recent resolution said Cornejo’s explanation is a “sorry excuse.”
“Her claim that she was confused and traumatized as to mindlessly sign her first complaint-affidavit prepared by her lawyer is a sorry excuse. Based on her own allegations, she had friends to support her during her ordeal. Better, she had a lawyer. She could ot have been a helpless child under the circumstances,” the DOJ said in its ruling.
“In this regard, complainant-appellant’s offer of explanation, unfortunately for her, reveals more incredulity on her part than the veracity of her allegations. What the explanation clarified more is her incredulousness,” read the resolution.
“It is unwise and decadent to ignore the previous dismissals of the complaint and the factual findings therein, especially when much time, effort, and resources had been expended to arrive at those resolutions,” the DOJ explained.
“If the factual findings in the previous resolutions still hold true, then there is no impediment to apply them again in the present complaint. That is not iniquitous and unprocedural. That is judicious and practical,” it added.
The DOJ said they will not reverse their earlier ruling “on the basis of her [Cornejo’s] suspiciously convenient and naive explanation that it was her involuntary fault that she put on record the Jan. 17, 2014 rape too late, much too late.”
“The fact that she did so only after the dismissal of her first complaint…Her explanation either proceeds from afterthought or bad faith,” said the DOJ.
“Based on the foregoing, there being no sufficient evidence to warrant respondent’s [Navarro] indictment for rape and attempted rape, there is no compulsion to indict him accordingly,” read the resolution.With a report from Alyssa Javier/INQUIRER.net intern/jpv
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