London (PTI): A 21-year-old Indian student studying at prestigious Cambridge University was found not guilty to charge of raping a fellow student in her room after a night out.
Prithvi Sridhar who had moved from Bangalore in 2013 to study engineering at the university’s prestigious Queens’ College was forced to take a gap year as a result of the accusation in November 2014, Cambridge Crown Court was told this week.
“Prithvi Sridhar and his family are grateful today for the jury’s verdict clearing his name of these false allegations,” said a statement released by the Prithvi’s family yesterday.
“Since he was first interviewed on the January 16, 2015, when these allegations were first put to him his life has been devastated. He has had to take a gap year from Queens’ College where he had achieved a first in his first two years and put his life on hold in order to prepare for his trial,” it said.
Prithvi’s alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that Prithvi forced himself upon her while returning to her room after a night out drinking. The jury, however, believed Prithvi’s account that he had never had sex with his accuser and would never have sex with anyone without consent.
“We are all extremely relieved and we are very happy. His life could have been ruined by this allegation but we’re glad he can now get back on track,” Prithvi’s father said outside the courtroom, adding that he now looks forward to moving on with his life and completing his degree at the college.
“Prithvi would like to thank the jury for their careful consideration of the evidence and fair deliberation in this trial; his family and friends who have supported him throughout these difficult times; Queens’ College who have supported him throughout the proceedings,” the statement said.
Prithvi received the highest marks in the world for economics in the Cambridge-affiliated Outstanding Cambridge Learner award, while a student at Mallya Aditi International School in Bangalore in 2012, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ reported.
The exams are run by Cambridge Assessment, a non-teaching department of the University of Cambridge. “The College is taking all possible measures to ensure the welfare of all those affected by the trial,” said a Queens’ College spokesperson.