How to evaluate rape victim's testimony

In the case of rape, a review begins with the reality that rape is a very serious accusation that is painful to make; at the same time, it is a charge that is not hard to lay against another by one with malice in her mind. Because of the private nature of the crime that justifies the acceptance of the lone testimony of a credible victim to convict, it is not easy for the accused, although innocent, to disprove his guilt.[1] We are mindful that the lone testimony of the rape victim is sufficient to sustain conviction. However, the probative value of the victim's testimony should be measured against the evidence for the defense and must be carefully evaluated.[2] Thus, the court has the duty to scrutinize with caution the testimony of the victim to rule a conviction.Jurisprudence lays down the following guidelines in evaluating the testimony of the victim. First, while an accusation for rape can be made with facility, it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disproveSecond, in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and lastly, the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense.[3]

[1]  People v. Fabito, 603 Phil. 584, 600 (2009).

[2] People v. Divina, 440 Phil. 72, 77 (2002).

[3] People v. Quintal, et al., supra note 20, at 523.