Chidi Okwechime guilty of raping, suffocating woman he met during evening at Canberra Club

Written by Javed Iqbal

A jury in the ACT Supreme Court has found a 34-year-old Canberra man guilty of raping a woman he met at the former nightclub Kokomo’s.

Chidi Okwechime was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of strangulation of the woman.

The court heard the woman had been to a 21st birthday party before meet a group of men, including Okwechime, in the now closed club in Canberra’s city center.

She admitted she had been given cocaine from Okwechime and his friends while at the club, saying her actions were out of character due to a worrying breakup.

But the woman said it was while making a series of cocaine that her phone fell into the toilet.

She said the bar staff would not help her charge it to make it work.

The woman said she had later gone home with Okwechime and thought they were going to a party where she could charge her phone and call someone to help her get home.

But she was instead taken to a home of a friend of Okwechime, where she was raped and strangled.

A man and lawyers outside the court.
Chidi Okwechime (right) refused to have sex with the woman as she continued to say no, or that he only stopped when she started crying.(ABC News: Elizabeth Byrne)

During the week-long trial, the woman described Okwechime as a “disturbed animal” and broke down several times during her testimony, telling the court of her plight.

“This is not funny, it’s awful,” she said.

But Okwechime told the jury he was shocked when the woman accused him of rape.

He said he asked several times “What are you talking about?”

Okwechime also denies saying anything about a party while driving the woman and another couple to the home.

He said the woman had led him on, but he had not forced her to do anything.

Okwechime also denied having strangled the woman, saying the allegations that he sexually assaulted her were “nonsense”.

“That’s how she acted, that’s what I thought she wanted,” he said.

He refused to have sex with her as she continued to say no or that he only stopped when she started crying.

But the woman also admitted that she had been mixed up about some of the things she said immediately after the incident, including that she had gone with the group to another nightclub before traveling to the house.

The jury took only one day to find Okwechime guilty of the three charges.

He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced in August.

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