PNG weightlifter cleared of toilet sex assault

AFP| Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 21:18 PM IST

London: A Commonwealth Games weightlifter from Papua New Guinea was on Tuesday cleared of sexually assaulting a man in a Glasgow supermarket toilet.

Toua Udia, 22, denied intentionally or recklessly touching the man`s testicles on July 21 in a Tesco store near the athletes` village in the 2014 Games` host city.

Sheriff Martin Jones said he did not find that state prosecutors had proved the case against the weightlifter beyond reasonable doubt, following a two-day trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

"Having regarded the evidence and all of the circumstances of this case, I am not satisfied that the Crown have proved the case against you and I acquit you on a verdict of not proven," he said.

Udia`s accuser, who cannot be named, told the court Monday that the athlete had touched his testicles as he helped him strap an ice pack to his leg.

"There was a bit of pressure. It wasn`t a scuff and it wasn`t a total grab, but it was definitely as if someone was poking," the man said.

"I said: `Hey!` to tell him to back off. He looked at me and just smiled as though it was normal."

On Tuesday, Tesco security guard Graham Buchanan told the court that Udia gave him his version of events.

"He stated that in the toilet he was trying to tighten his bandage and another male was asked to help him and when he was helping, the accused`s hand slipped and struck the gentleman," Buchanan said.

Speaking after the trial concluded, Udia`s lawyer Ian Moir said: "Mr Udia has maintained his innocence throughout and is delighted with the outcome of the case.

"He now wishes to put this behind him and is looking forward to returning to see his family."

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which opened on July 23, concluded on Sunday.

In the weightlifting, Toua came ninth in the men`s 77-kilogramme category on July 27.