Namibian pugilist Jonas Junias Jonas, the country’s Olympic flag-bearer who was arrested in Brazil during this year’s Olympic Games for alleged sexual assault, is set to spend Christmas in Brazil as he awaits his trial to start in January next year.
The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) announced the latest developments in Jonas’ protracted case late yesterday, with NNOC secretary general Joan Smit saying: “The law firm has presented a written defence and lodged a request to allow the athlete to return to Namibia while the proceedings are in progress. The judge received the proceeding files on 29 November. On Friday, 2 December the law firm informed us that 25 January 2017 has been set by the judge for the trial to commence – meaning the athlete will have to remain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”
Jonas was arrested in August during this year’s Olympic Games on suspicion of sexually harassing a housemaid in the Athletes’ Village in the West Zone of Rio.
Since his conditional release from custody, the 22-year-old amateur boxer was placed under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil and will remain under its care until the conclusion of the case.
As per the Brazilian Legal Act of 1992 the terms and definitions of “attempted rape or rape” and “sexual harassment” are categorized as one and the same crime and should one be found guilty, he or she could face between six and ten years in jail.