One-time AFL star Daniel Menzel has been acquitted of two sexual assaults after a woman who made the charge presented “disturbing” evidence.
The former Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats player pleaded not guilty to unlawfully sexually touching the woman without her consent on Nov. 29.
During a hearing in the local court at Downing Center in Sydney, the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, previously alleged that she had been drugged after a night out with Menzel.
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The court was told that he and the woman were partying at the Bondi Hotel, where CCTV captured them being affectionate towards each other before the alleged touching took place.
The couple went back to Mr. Menzel’s house, where the woman claimed he held her, kissed her and put his hands under her clothes without permission.
Mr Mezel previously told the court that after he undressed and got into bed, the woman wore clothes and talked to him at the foot of the bed for about five minutes before her behavior changed.
“She said ‘who are you? I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what’s going on’. I said ‘OK, what’s happening?’ and she said ‘I don’t know where I am’ and I said ‘I’ll walk you through everything and explain what happened’.
“She had a stunned look on her face, it was very obvious. It worried me because I didn’t know what was going on.
“I asked if she was okay and she said ‘yes’ and then she asked if I was okay and she got on the bed and crawled under the covers and hugged me and said ‘it’s okay’.”
About 10 minutes later, the court was told that the woman had started kissing Mr. Menzel again and he kissed her back before she “turned another switch”, asked why he was touching her and pushed him off her.
The woman said “you drugged me and you are trying to rape me,” the court was told.
Menzel said he told the woman that he had never used drugs and that he was not trying to rape her.
“I was really upset and I said ‘you’re a psychopath, get out of my house, I’ve had enough’, and then she left my house,” he said.
Magistrate Michael Crompton, who ruled on the case Monday, told the court that the case depends on the reliability of the woman’s evidence.
He said parts of the evidence she gave was “disturbing”.
The woman told the court that she had taken MDMA and had also been drinking before the incident, Mr Crompton said.
Her claim that she may have been given a rape drug was not supported by any chemical evidence and there were some things on the night the woman claimed she could remember and others she couldn’t, the court was told.
Mr Crompton said Mr Menzel was of good character and could be relied upon to support the presumption of innocence to which he was entitled.
The charges against Mr Menzel were dismissed.
He headed the court via audiovisual link from South Australia where he is now based and plays in the South Australian National Football League.
Menzel’s AFL came to an end in 2019 after making just seven appearances for the Swans after a nearly ten-year stint with the Cats.
He only played 80 games in nine seasons due to multiple knee injuries that ended the season, kicking 143 goals.
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