• July 6th, 2020

‘Free man’ Jonas acquitted of sexual assault charges

The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) yesterday announced the Brazilian Eighth Criminal Chamber of the Court of Justice this week acquitted Namibian amateur boxer Jonas Junias Jonas of sexual assault charges. 

The charges emanate from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, where Jonas was accused of having sexually harassed a housemaid at the Athletes Village in the West Zone of Rio during the Games. Jonas was Namibia’s flag-bearer at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Making the announcement at a press conference in the capital yesterday, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said at the Brazilian Court of Torcedor E Dos Grandes Eventos, the presiding judges in the matter rejected the complainant’s evidence and version of events and further disqualified the charges brought against Jonas as not being of the nature of sexual assault as per Brazilian laws.

“The appeal court held that Jonas’ conduct did not characterise the nature of the crime of rape; the judges finally applied the statute of limitation of the state punitive code, and held that any punishable offence had lapsed. They, thus, upheld the decision of the court Torcedor E Dos Grandes Eventosl and dismissed the matter. To put it in short, the result of the judgement by the Brazilian court is that Jonas has been acquitted of sexual harassment charges and no conviction remains in place. This also means Jonas is a free man and free to represent his country with no shadow hanging over his head,” said Xoagub.

A relieved Xoagub said it has been a long and stressful journey for both the NNOC and Jonas, as the sexual assault allegations always followed him wherever he would compete, with organisers of various international events always putting the 26-year-old boxer through lengthy interviews before he could be allowed to compete.

“It was really difficult for Jonas to travel to competitions, as he was required to complete a lot of documentation before leaving the country, but that is over now. He can now look forward to winning more medals and making the country proud at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo, which he qualified for last week. Despite all these things that Jonas was going through, he remained focused and won medals for the country – and he has once again qualified for the Olympics. I would like to call on the nation to continue supporting him and all the other athletes who will be representing the country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan,” he added. The 2020 Olympic Games takes place in Tokyo, Japan, between 24 July and 9 August.
– ohembapu@nepc.com.na

Otniel Hembapu
2020-03-05 07:40:43 | 4 months ago

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