I didn’t even touch her – Jonas…NNOC unwraps Jonas case

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Namibia's Junias Jonas, right, fights France's Hassan Amzile during a men's light welterweight 64-kg preliminary boxing match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-In his recent court hearing, Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas, the country’s 2016 Olympic flag-bearer who was arrested in Brazil during last year’s Olympic Games for alleged sexual assault, again stood his grounds insisting he did not have any physical contact with the Brazilian lady he’s accused of raping.

In an exclusive interview with New Era Sport yesterday, Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) president Abner Xoagub finally unpacked details around the much protracted Jonas case, which has dragged on since August last year when he was arrested during the Olympic Games.

Amongst the many details shared during the interview with Xoagub is the full testimony that Jonas recently gave to the Brazilian court during his last court hearing on Monday, 06 February. In that testimony, the 23-year old Namibian pugilist again maintained that there was no physical contact between him and the housekeeping lady he is alleged to have sexually assaulted – be it in private or public.

According to Brazil’s Criminal Code, the crime of rape occurs if a person force the victim to have sexual intercourse, to practice lewd acts or forces the victim into performing a sexual act. Therefore any sexual act practiced without consent is considered rape.

In her latestest statement to the court, the housekeeping lady claimed that Jonas grabbed her from behind and kissed her neck without her consent. This purportedly happened at the elevator. The victim’s latest statement is contrary to the initial statement in which she claimed that the sexually assault took place in Jonas’ room, according to Xoagub.

According to Xoagub, as per the statement given by Jonas, the Namibian boxer and his two coaches as well as other boxers, had just returned from the showers and were all dressing up in their respective rooms while chatting to one other via the open doors of their rooms, during the time in which Jonas is supposed to have sexually assaulted the cleaning lady at the elevator.

Xoagub further narrated that Jonas’ two coaches were with him the entire moment and almost all the doors to the different rooms were still open during that said moment as most of the boxers were freely roaming around and chatting. The statement further said that when the housemaid (the alleged victim) came to empty the trash in Jonas’ room, the door to his room was open, and two of Jonas’ coaches were still present while other boxers were still freely roaming around the corridors.

“So, now the confusing thing is that the Brazilian lady first claimed to have been raped or sexually harassed by Jonas in his room. But now in her latest statement, she and her witnesses are saying Jonas grabbed her from behind and kissed her on the neck in front of the elevator but our two Namibian coaches were with Jonas that whole time and the rooms of other boxers were also open. I mean tell me, who publicly rapes a woman in front of an elevator? It does not make sense at all and Jonas would never do such a thing,” said Xoagub.

He added “The other funny thing that emerged from her (the Brazilian lady) statement is the fact that she took almost more than two hours to report the incident to the security guards at the Athletes Village. That is kind of puzzling, especially for someone who has just been sexually harassed. How does someone rape or sexually harass you and you still take almost two hours to report such a serious case? Again, it does not make sense to me. But it’s all in the hands of the judge now and he will decide the way forward and whatever feedback we get, we will let the public know.”

Jonas, who has been under the care of the Namibian Embassy in Brazil since his conditional release from custody last August, was arrested on August 7 during last year’s Olympic Games on suspicion of sexually assaulting a house maid in the Athletes Village in the West Zone of Rio.

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