The Muliaina prosecution

The Herald reports:

World Cup winning All Black says he can hold his head up high after a prosecution against him for allegedly groping a young woman’s backside in a crowded Welsh night club was thrown out.

The 100-test international also spoke out against the manner of his arrest, which was aired on live TV straight after a top flight European rugby match.

A sexual assault charge against Muliaina was dropped last night when the Crown conceded there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. …

Muliaina, 35, was accused of touching a 19-year-old woman “on he bottom over her trousers” on a busy nightclub nightclub dance floor.

Putting aside whether or not the incident did happen, what surprises me is that this was deemed serious enough for criminal prosecution.

Don’t get me wrong. No one should grope anyone’s behind without consent, and if you do you’re a pillock and deserve anything from a drink thrown in your face to public calling out for doing it.

But should this be something that goes to court and gets someone a criminal prosecution?

If someone punched someone on the arm, would we expect that to go to court, even though it is assault? You expect there to be some discretion as to whether it should be prosecuted, or just cautioned.

The fullback was arrested after the final whistle of his team’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Gloucester in April.

Still in his team tracksuit, he was captured by TV cameras as he was led away to a police van.

“I always knew I never did anything wrong. The way I was treated, I suppose I was a bit aggrieved by it,” Muliaina said.

And even worse he was arrested in the most high profile way possible.

I thought from the reporting at the time that the alleged sexual assault was something close to rape. Why else would you arrest them at the end of a game, rather than just ask them to come into the police station?

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