Rugby rape case postponed

2011-05-20 12:39

A charge of defeating the ends of justice against a Uruguayan rugby club manager was withdrawn on Friday when the Uruguayan players charged with rape again appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court.

Cesar Borges, who offered the alleged rape victim money for her medical expenses if she dropped the rape charges, stepped out of the dock a free man after representations were made to the Western Cape directorate for public prosecutions.

According to the defence team, the purpose of the offer was to enable the visiting rugby team to continue their tour without the worry of a pending rape case and not to defeat the ends of justice.

After their arrival in Cape Town, the team went night-clubbing in the CBD and met their alleged victim in a night-club.

She had a car and offered to take the team to a second night-club.

After a night of revelling, the woman accompanied the players to their hotel room at about 5:30am.

At a bail hearing, police said the victim was the worse for liquor and had accepted an invitation to sleep it off in their hotel room.

However she awoke three times to find different players having sex with her.

Later, she refused to leave the room and when the hotel management was notified she alleged that she had been raped.

At Friday’s proceedings before Magistrate Alta Frederick, defence counsel Peter Mihalik said Borges’ arrest had been unlawful and had stigmatised and traumatised him.

Mihalik said Borges’ remedy “lies elsewhere” – a reference to a possible civil action for his illegal arrest.

Mihalik described Borges arrest and subsequent appearance in court as an “absolute travesty of justice”.

“The arrest was illegal, irregular and without a warrant. The prosecutor dealing with the rape case refused at the time to speak to Borges’ lawyer, and based on that, Borges was arrested.

“He has been stigmatised as an accessory after the fact,” Mihalik said.

The three players charged with rape are out on bail, and were ordered to appear again on June 10.

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