Dad ready for coach sex case

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Independent Newspapers

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Durban - Prosecutors in Europe will next month brief a Durban teenager on what she can expect ahead of the trial of her South African coach, who has been charged with having sex with her when she was 13.

The girl’s father will accompany his child to the inquiry, and he expressed confidence that they were emotionally prepared for the encounter.

“We are ready to take this on,” he said yesterday.

The father, who cannot be named to protect identities, said he had received a request to attend the hearing.

The popular 41-year-old coach was arrested in Europe on May 18, after being granted bail of R80 000 in the Durban Regional Court, where he will also stand trial on other charges in connection with the girl.

His Durban bail application came after he was arrested by the SAPS family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit at King Shaka International Airport.

He faces allegations in Durban of sexual assault, sexual grooming and sexual exploitation of a child, as well as possession of child pornography. The alleged victim was 12 at the time.

The father said that the accused’s family was the first to alert him to the arrest.

He said he laid a complaint with European authorities a few days after the coach returned to Europe, after leaving Durban.

Relocated

The coach, who relocated to Europe with his family to train a team for the London Olympics, was arrested and charged in Europe as a result of an investigation by overseas authorities.

The public prosecutor’s office in the city where the coach has been living formally charged him for having sex in that country with the girl last August, when she was 13.

This week, the alleged sex offender was expected back at the Durban Regional Court for the start of the trial. A warrant of arrest was authorised but stayed until October, pending the outcome of his case in Europe.

Details of the charges the accused is facing overseas are unclear at this stage.

The father said his attorney had indicated that more detail would be provided at the hearing. He said the charge was completely different to the charges the accused was facing in SA, but did not go into further detail.

He said he had received the request to attend the hearing three weeks ago via his lawyer, and was now waiting to be informed when the hearing was expected to begin, how long it would take, and whether he would be expected to testify.

“All I know is that we will meet the prosecuting authorities, who will brief her [his daughter] on what’s expected,” he said.

Asked if he was optimistic of a conviction, the father said: “You can never be sure of the outcome.”

 

On how the family was feeling ahead of their trip to Europe, he said: “Our preparations are complete and we are emotionally ready to take this on as best we can. We definitely will be going to seek justice.” - Daily News

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