Murder/sodomy of 2-year-oldThe teen who was accused of sodomising his two-year-old niece and murdering her in the process on Tuesday was freed by a 12-member jury at the High Court.Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry dismissed the charge against Kevin Rankin after the jury unanimously agreed that he was not guilty of the act.As the jury foreman read the not-guilty verdict, Rankin threw both arms into the air and shouted “yes” before running out of the courtroom, pursued by several relatives of the dead toddler.Rankin was accused of committing the act on October 21, 2013 at Haslington Village, East Coast Demerara (ECD) when the toddler was left in his care.At that time, Rankin was only 15 years old and had been at a relative’s home with the toddler while the child’s mother left to conduct some errands. When the mother returned home, she was allegedly informed that something had been wrong with the child and she had died.The woman then rushed the two-year-old to the CC Nicholson Health Centre at Nabaclis, ECD, before the child was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was pronounced dead.During the trial, Defence Attorney Sandil Kissoon had argued that the prosecution’s case against his client was flawed since there were no photographs produced to the Court that had been taken of the scene where the crime allegedly occurred or even the house in which the alleged crime had taken place. He had posited that the investigations did not take any statement from any neighbour or eyewitness.Meanwhile, State witness, Pathologist Nehaul Singh testified that an autopsy, which was performed on the body of the toddler, indicated that she had been sodomised. He told the jury that the two-year-old suffered abdominal trauma, including bleeding of her liver and spleen. Dr Singh revealed that the child had also suffered from concussions to both her head and neck which were consistent with a blow or fall.Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Dr Singh acknowledged that the injury to the toddler’s chest cavity could have been also caused during the administration of CPR by someone who did not have experience in administering the life-saving technique.It should be noted that Rankin had initially told the Court that he did not harm his niece on the day in question, but had taken her to a relative’s home for her “to play”. He said that was when she became sick, complained about chest pains, and subsequently became unresponsive. Given that the child was not breathing, his cousin tried to administer CPR, Rankin had said.