What is the "Sweetheart Theory"?


The accused-appellant would have this Court believe that he and AAA were lovers. This sweetheart theory, however, is bereft of any substantial proof. Other than accused-appellant’s self-serving assertions and the testimonies of Sarmiento and Manalo, there were no other evidence presented to satisfactorily prove the alleged romantic relationship. The testimonies that they were seen together talking on the day of the incident or that they were walking hand in hand in going to Lupi do not give rise to the inference that they were sweethearts. We previously held that the sweetheart theory or sweetheart defense is an oft-abused justification that rashly derides the intelligence of this Court and sorely tests its patience. For the Court to even consider giving credence to such defense, it must be proven by compelling evidence. The defense cannot just present testimonial evidence in support of the theory, as in the instant case. Independent proof is required – such as tokens, mementos, and photographs. There is none presented here by the defense.
Besides, even if it were true that accused-appellant and AAA were sweethearts, this fact doesnot necessarily negate the commission of rape. Being sweethearts does not prove consent to the sexual act. Definitely, a man cannot demand sexual gratification from a fiancĂ©e and worse, employviolence upon her on the pretext of love. Love is not a license for lust.

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