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Namibian boxer released from prison, scheduled to box

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 11/08/2016 by Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
Namibian boxer released from prison, scheduled to box © Pedro ugarte, AFP/Getty Images Namibian boxer released from prison, scheduled to box

RIO DE JANEIRO — Namibian boxer Jonas Junias, his country’s flagbearer during the opening ceremonies to the Summer Games, will be allowed to compete in his light-welterweight preliminary bout on Thursday, just four days after being charged with attempted rape.

According to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald, Junias was arrested by Rio police on Sunday night and accused with sexually assaulting a housemaid in the village housing athletes in Rio’s Olympic Park.

According to the Herald, police accused the 22-year-old of grabbed and attempting to kiss the woman in the corridor on the 11th floor of his building. He was held in police custody pending a fuller investigation, then released in time to attend Thursday morning’s weigh-in leading into his match against Hassan Amzile of France.

“I think it's important to say here that what's overriding is the justice system in this country has to take its course,” International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said in a statement.

“I understand that he's been released pending further action, but he is free to compete. He's not been found guilty of anything as yet so my understanding is the legal system in the country takes precedence and allows him to be innocent before proven guilty.”

It marked the second time a boxer had been arrested under accusations of rape since the start of the Rio Games. Last week, a boxer from Morocco, Hassan Saada, was arrested by police after two women on the cleaning staff at the village accused him of attempted rape.

Under Brazilian law, rape is defined as any non-consensual act. Both Saada and Junias could face up to 10 years in prison.

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