Rio police arrest Moroccan boxer on sexual assault allegation

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Published: Aug 05, 2016, 10:36 PM(IST)

Saada will be jailed for 15 days while the police investigate. Photograph:( Reuters )

A Moroccan Olympic boxer was arrested today on allegations he sexually assaulted two Brazilian housekeepers in the Olympic Village.

Police said the possible attacks by Hassan Saada happened on Wednesday. The women filed a report this week, saying the 22-year-old boxer asked them to go to his room, then restrained and fondled them, chief investigator Carolina Salomao said.

"They were cleaning the room right across his, and he assaulted them. He groped the breast of one of them and touched the other woman's thigh. They were able to get out," Salomao said.

The detective said Saada shared the room with two other athletes, but was alone at the time of the alleged assault. Saada will be jailed for 15 days while they investigate. Under Brazilian law, suspects can be held for a long period while a case is examined.

Police originally said in a statement the man had raped the housekeepers, but the investigator said it was a sexual assault. It's not clear what charges he is facing.

Saada, a light heavyweight boxer, was scheduled to fight in the preliminary rounds on Saturday against Mehmet Nadir of Turkey. Saada was not predicted to be a medal contender.

The International Boxing Association, which runs the Olympic boxing tournament, said it has "taken note of the serious allegations."

"We understand that the situation is being dealt with by the local Brazilian authorities and have complete confidence that they will handle the matter appropriately," federation spokesman Nicolas Jomard said in a statement.

Olympic organisers said they are aware of the case and investigation. Calls and email messages left with the Moroccan Embassy in Rio de Janeiro were not immediately returned.

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