Chidi Okwechime guilty of raping, choking woman he met during night out at Canberra club

An ACT Supreme Court jury 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 choking the woman.

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

She admitted obtaining cocaine from Okwechime and his friends while at the club, saying her actions were out of character due to a distressing break-up.

But the woman said it was while doing a line of cocaine, that her phone fell in the toilet.

She said bar staff would not help her charge it to get it working.

The woman said she had later gone home with Okwechime, believing 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 choked.

A man and lawyers outside court.
Chidi Okwechime (right) denied having sex with the woman when she was continuing to say no or that he only stopped when she started to cry.(ABC News: Elizabeth Byrne)

During the week-long trial, the woman described Okwechime as a “deranged animal” and broke down several times during her evidence, telling the court about her distress.

“This is not fun, this is horrible,” she said.

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

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

Okwechime also denies he said 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 strangling the woman and said the claims he has sexually assaulted her were “nonsense”.

“By the way she was acting that’s what I thought she wanted,” he said.

He denied having sex with her when she was continuing to say no or that he only stopped when she started to cry.

But the woman also admitted she had been mixed up about some of the things she said in the immediate aftermath of the incident, including that she had gone with the group to a second nightclub before travelling to the house.

The jury took just a 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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