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No complaint to be laid against England players

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A New Zealand woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by four touring England rugby players in an Auckland hotel will not make a formal complaint, her lawyers reportedly said Friday.


The England rugby team’s tour was marred by allegations that four players were involved in a sexual assault on a woman at the waterfront Hilton Hotel in Auckland early on June 15, hours after England lost the first Test.


The 18-year-old alleged victim refused to make a formal complaint while the team were in New Zealand and the players were advised by lawyers not to agree to be interviewed by police in the absence of a complaint.


Lawyers acting for the alleged victim have written a letter to England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU), which was released to New Zealand media Friday.


The woman said she was sexually violated by four members of the team and then sought medical attention for the injuries she received. She was referred to the police by medical professionals.


Glenda Hughes, a communications executive acting for the alleged victim, told TV3 that the woman did not want to put herself in the media spotlight by going through a rape trial.


“Her sense is that she’s had a pretty awful experience and the quickest way to move on is not to extend that awful experience,” Hughes said.


Hughes said according to the information she had the injuries the woman suffered were consistent with a sexual attack.


“They were definitely indicative of non-consensual sex.” The alleged victim claimed she had been invited back to the team hotel, she said.


“She went back with one member of the rugby team and then I think it got out of control.” Hughes said there had so far been no attempt by English rugby authorities to get the alleged victim’s version of events.


At the time the allegations came to light, the England management said the four unnamed players denied allegations of rape or sexual assault and had the full support of the rest of the team.


British media reports at the time, quoting an England rugby source, claimed the woman had consensual sex with one player in his room before being joined by another squad member, with whom she also had consensual sex.


The reports said some of the sex was witnessed by two other players.


A statement issued by the RFU on Friday said: “The RFU Disciplinary Officer, His Honour, Judge Jeff Blackett has received correspondence this (Friday) morning from the solicitors, Chapman Tripp, in New Zealand.


“He is considering the contents of the letter and his investigation is continuing.


“No date has been set for the completion of the investigation.”


Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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