Ex-Olympian on rape charges

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 14:23 16/07/2012

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A former Olympic athlete is back on trial for physical and sexual assaults on two of his former partners.

The man, whose name is suppressed so as not to identify the complainants, stood trial in 2010 for sexual and physical assaults on his then-wife.

He was found not guilty of several counts but the jury was unable to reach a decision on two counts of rape and one count of strangling the woman.

His re-trial on those counts began today in the High Court at Auckland but they were also joined by allegations he had raped, sexually violated, assaulted and kidnapped another partner 10 years earlier.

Those charges, dating back to 1998, allege eight crimes including injuring with intent to injure, kidnapping, rape, and two representative charges of repeated rapes and sexual violations over the course of their relationship.

Crown prosecutor Fionnghuala Cuncannon told the jury the charges related to "two abusive relationships".

She said the two women had never met but "they will give you remarkably similar accounts" of the man's controlling behaviour, anger, violence and physical and sexual abuse.

Defence lawyer Hugh Leabourne told the jury the defence case was that there was no unlawful sex and no incidents of violence or kidnapping.

The trial before Justice Mary Peters is scheduled for two weeks.

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