A”top level sportsman” is due to appear in court Tuesday, accused with raping a student last month.
The un-named man is in his 20s will appear in a district court tomorrow. Newstalkzb described him as a
“top level and award winning provincial sportsman”
Given that the World Cup is so close, speculation is rife that the sportsman may be a potential member of the All Blacks team and the charge could jeopardise his chances of playing.
Not only has his identity been suppressed but the press are also keeping quiet about the location and date of the alleged rape; and the whereabouts of the court where tomorrow’s hearing will be held.
New Zealand’s ‘two tier justice system’ has often been castigated for suppressing the identities of top sports people, politicians and media personalities involved in sex and violence offences.
In 2011 a former All Black pleaded guilty to child assault but was allowed by the court to keep his identity a secret. Why?
because of his standing in sporting circles and in the community as well as to protect the identity of the complainant.
Another former high-profile All Black appeared in a Wellington court last week and he, too, was given name suppression.
In that case, the 45-year-old was charged with assaulting his partner… resisting police and possession of cannabis.
The 45 year old was charged with assaulting his partner when out celebrating the AB’s world cup victory over France. source.
The former All Black convicted for assaulting his 11 year old son was given name suppression, why? because a criminal conviction would interfere with his numerous speaking responsibilities, and his position within charity and community organisations. source. This was despite the child’s school asking for his son to be examined in case he’d suffered any long-term injuries. Surely the charities and community organisations had a right to know what this man was capable of?
The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 was supposed to ensure that “wealth, reputation or public awareness” should not be factors in gaining name suppression.
Section 200 of the Act enables a court to suppress the name, address or occupation of a person charged, convicted or acquitted of an offence if it is satisfied that publication could cause extreme hardship to that person, any person connected to them or undue hardship to their victim. “The fact that a defendant is well known does not, of itself, mean that publication of his or her name will result in extreme hardship”.
Let’s see what happens with this latest ‘high profile New Zealander’ suppression case. Want to bet the trial will be delayed until after the world cup?
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