Baby Black over cleared of rape allegation

Last updated 18:14 28/09/2012

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South African police have decided not to prosecute Baby Blacks hooker Nathan Harris over a rape allegation made against him.

A 22-year-old woman filed a complaint against the Under 20 New Zealand rugby player in June, alleging he had raped her just hours after his team lost the junior world championship final to South Africa.

But police there have advised the New Zealand Rugby Union and Harris that after investigating the complaint, they will not be prosecuting.

Harris said in a statement that he was relieved to have his name cleared.

‘‘The past three months has been an incredibly difficult time for me and my family and now I want to put this matter behind me.

‘‘I want to thank my family, friends and rugby community for supporting me during this time.’’

But he was disappointed that his special experience with the team was marred by the allegation.

‘‘My focus is now on getting on with playing rugby and I'll be working hard to prove that I can be a good asset for any team I am lucky enough to be involved in," he said.

NZRU professional rugby general manager Neil Sorensen said the union was pleased that the South African authorities had now closed the matter. 

‘‘Nathan has already publicly acknowledged that he breached team rules when he allowed a woman to come back to his room after the Final of the Junior World Cup in South Africa in June.’’

It was considered misconduct and a breach in the team rules, and it would be recorded as a warning on Harris’ file.

‘‘We now consider the chapter closed.’’Harris and his family asked for continued privacy and would not be making any further public comment.

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- The Dominion Post

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