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Sexual Assault Case Against Guy ‘Caught Masturbating’ In Gym Has Been Dropped

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 14 Jun 2019 07:55
man in gymman in gymCEN

A gym in South Africa has dropped its court case against an 18-year-old who was allegedly caught masturbating near a woman working out.

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The gym, Virgin Active, banned the man for life, but said he should receive psychological counselling rather than being prosecuted.

The scene was caught on camera by an onlooker at the gym in Stellenbosch, in South Africa’s Western Cape.

Man masturbates at gym.Man masturbates at gym.CEN

Footage appeared to show the unnamed man looking at his phone while moving his hand inside his pants. He was reportedly sitting close to a woman who was using a kettlebell to practise squats.

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The photo was shared on social media with the caption: ‘I want this man’s face to go viral. This was at the Virgin Active in Stellenbosch @virginactiveSA. Absolutely abysmal behaviour’.

man in gymman in gymCEN

The attorney for the 18-year-old has since confirmed the gym’s decision to drop the case, after a private meeting with the prosecutor, MailOnline reports.

In a statement, Virgin Active spokesperson Carla White said they are dropping the case, but:

The [National Prosecuting Authority] are, however, likely to still set specific conditions that the suspect will be required to meet related to the withdrawal.

What he did was wrong, however, we are of the opinion that psychological help may be more appropriate than criminal sanction. We have an undertaking from his lawyer and family that he is receiving counselling and will continue with this course of therapy.

We believe this is the most balanced way to deal with the situation.

As the gym is a shared space, Virgin Active said they have taken action in accordance with the rules to make them more safe.

gym machinesgym machinesPixabay

White added:

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We cannot control the behaviour of individuals, but we can take action when their behaviour contravenes our rules. Our sanctions are applied uniformly, regardless of age, race or religion.

Virgin Active responded immediately to the video’s appearance on social media, taking swift action against the man in the footage, terminating his membership and giving him a lifetime ban from all Virgin Active gyms.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: News, court case, Gym, masturbating, public, Sexual Assault

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MailOnline
  1. MailOnline

    Sexual assault complaint against 18-year-old 'caught masturbating' near woman doing squats at South African gym is dropped by officials