Not guilty means not guilty

You will all know by now that Black Cap Scott Kuggeleijn was tried for rape in 2017 and was allowed to go free. The jury decided he was not guilty of rape.

No one knows exactly what went on that night… no one except the two people involved in the incident. No doubt the complainant thought the verdict was unfair but, having been through the stress and ignominy of a trial, that should be the end of it. Right?

Well, it should be, but it isn’t. quote.

New Zealand Cricket and Westpac Stadium have admitted they were wrong to remove a banner promoting sexual consent during a Twenty20 cricket international in Wellington.

The banner, which read: “no means no”, was being displayed by a member of the crowd at the double-header between the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams and India on Wednesday night when security staff asked for it to be handed over.

The sign was directed at Black Cap Scott Kuggeleijn, who was found not guilty of rape following a jury trial in 2017 and was subsequently selected for the national side. end quote.

I’m not sure there is much more he can do than be found not guilty. Oh, yes there is. He can be pilloried for the rest of his life for a crime that the justice system has said he did not commit.

What is worse, the ground security confiscated the sign… and then the stadium management withdrew and apologised, as though the banner was perfectly fine all along.

Where was the apology to Kuggeleijn for a plan to deliberately put him off his game? There was none, of course. His career is being wrecked by people determined to punish him for a crime he did not commit. quote.

Kuggeleijn toured Ireland with the Black Caps a few months after the trial, but the issue started to gain more traction when he made his first home appearance for the side in the one-off T20 against Sri Lanka in Auckland in January, and it flared up again in Wellington on Wednesday.

The woman who was holding up the sign told Stuff she was escorted from her seat by security who attempted to confiscate the sign.

“My friends and I were surrounded by multiple security guards. It was a very uncomfortable experience.”

end quote.

I’m guessing having banners like this in the crowd was not an uplifting experience for Kuggeleijn either, but that doesn’t matter, does it? quote.

On Thursday, she met with representatives of Westpac Stadium who offered an unreserved apology.
“They acknowledge they didn’t do the right thing in this instance and are committed to ensuring it won’t happen in future. I’m really heartened by how responsive they’ve been and hope everyone can have a fun, safe time at cricket in the Cake Tin in future,” she said.

Stuff end quote.

Everyone except Scott Kuggeleijn, that is.

This is wrong on so many levels. The guy was found innocent. He has to tolerate continued harassment, even though no one actually knows what happened. And for the stadium management to do the right thing and then collapse in a sobbing heap just shows how scared everyone is of women these days. Everyone is terrified of being accused of performing, or condoning sexual harassment. Every man, that is.

I make it clear that I do not condone sexual harassment or assault, but a ‘not guilty’ verdict should be the end of the matter. The fact that the former accused can be hounded out of his career even though the law says he has committed no crime shows us everything that is wrong about the #metoo movement.

This guy’s career is going to be ruined and it stinks to high heaven.