Uber driver found guilty of rape

Uber driver Moses Gengo-Yon Ravanes is in custody facing sentencing for rape after a jury found him guilty on the fourth day of his trial in the Christchurch District Court.

Judge Paul Kellar remanded the migrant from the Philippines in custody for sentencing on July 19 on the charge of sexual violation by rape.

The jury deliberated for five-and-a-half hours and asked to see some of the DVD recording of Ravanes’ interview with the police again, before delivering its verdict.

Crown prosecutor Mitchell McClenaghan had said that Ravanes had taken advantage of an intoxicated and vulnerable woman passenger during a fare to her home from a bar in The Strip on May 13, 2018.

Ravanes, who has a family, did not give evidence but maintained that the sex had been consensual. He said in the interview that he had been “shocked” by the woman’s request for intercourse.

Judge Kellar sympathised with the difficult task the jury had faced. “It’s not easy, is it?” he said. “I could see when you requested to see the video what a toll it was having on you.”

He also thanked the Tagalog interpreter who stayed behind after the sitting to translate the three-strikes warning that Ravanes was given after his conviction.

He also thanked all three counsel – Mr McClenaghan for the Crown, and Andrew McKenzie and David Goldwater for the defence – for their professionalism throughout a difficult trial.