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Question
Posted by: Peno | 2012-04-16

Deceased complainant

I would like to know what happens in a case of rape (child rape between 2-3 years) where the complainant dies (in this case the mother of the child)  does the case continue, can someone else like a mother or relative to the deceased complainant take over as the complainant?

In this case the accused has been called to appear in court and the case was postponed to a later date and the child (" raped'') was in court with the mother.

Please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is actually a complex legal issue, so you really need legal advice.
Technically there may be problems, which the accused's lawyer would probably take advantage of. It sshould be possible, if there is real evidence of rape, for the case to proceed - and I think that for major crimes like rape, it should be technically US, the people of SA, as represented by the prosecutor, that brings such cases, not the original complainant. After all, in cases of murder, the person most likely to complain is already dead, and it is the prosecutor who brings the case. Call the prosecutor's office ( make sure they know about the mother's death ) and ask them to confirm that the case will proceed, or if there are problems, how best to solve them.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012-04-17

Unfortunately I don''t think there are many people on this forum with the legal knowledge required to answer your question. I would think that the case would continue - especially if it is a criminal case. The only death that should stop the case is the death of the accused. Perhaps you should contact the lawyer that the mother was using to find out what the options are?

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-04-17

This is actually a complex legal issue, so you really need legal advice.
Technically there may be problems, which the accused's lawyer would probably take advantage of. It sshould be possible, if there is real evidence of rape, for the case to proceed - and I think that for major crimes like rape, it should be technically US, the people of SA, as represented by the prosecutor, that brings such cases, not the original complainant. After all, in cases of murder, the person most likely to complain is already dead, and it is the prosecutor who brings the case. Call the prosecutor's office ( make sure they know about the mother's death ) and ask them to confirm that the case will proceed, or if there are problems, how best to solve them.

Reply to cybershrink

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