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Former Olympic athlete jailed for sex attacks

Published: 11:58AM Friday September 21, 2012 Source: Fairfax

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A former Olympic athlete who raped and physically assaulted two of his former partners has been jailed for 14 years.

The man, whose name is suppressed so as not to identify his victims, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland today by Justice Mary Peters.

He was found guilty in June of three counts of rape, one of sexual violation, one of injuring with intent and one count of male assaults female.

Justice Peters permanently suppressed the man's name and the sport he participated in to protect the identities of the two women - his  former wife and former girlfriend.

It was the second trial for the man, who was accused in 2010 of sexual and physical assaults on his then-wife.

He was found not guilty of several counts but the jury at that trial was unable to reach a decision on two counts of rape and one count of strangling the woman.

The current case was a retrial on those charges, but they were also joined by allegations he had raped, sexually violated, assaulted and kidnapped another partner in 1998 and 1999.

The jury found the man guilty of choking his wife during an argument and later raping her several times in 2008. It also found him guilty of representative charges of physical and sexual abuse against the other complainant, a former girlfriend in 1998 and 1999.

That victim described being assaulted "habitually" with attacks ranging from "backhanders" to "big frenzied attacks leaving her battered on the floor".

Defence lawyer Hugh Leabourne gave references to the man's good character.

However one, by a prominent Christchurch academic, referred to the man as making "bad choices, particularly in relation to his choice of partners".

Justice Peters rejected the submission saying: "One might think you were a bad choice for them.

"You are a danger to the community, particularly to women you are in a relationship with."

She imposed a sentence of 14 years and three months with a minimum non-parole period of six years, six months.