Aquatics Coach Pleads Not Guilty to Rape Charge

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A national diving coach claimed trial at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today after he was charged for allegedly raping his trainee, a 20-year-old national diver.

Huang Qiang, 35, was accused of raping her at the diving gym of the National Aquatic Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil in Seri Petaling at 5.30pm on Sept 26.

If found guilty of the offence under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code, he faces up to 20 years in prison and whipping.

The China-born Huang, who is now a Malaysian, appeared calm when the charge was read out in Chinese by the court interpreter. His wife was also present in court today.

Mohd Yusni Ariffin/NST

In 2011, Huang received Malaysian citizenship, after which he represented Malaysia at the 2012 London Olympics.

Representing China, he won a silver medal at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998 at the age of 16.

DPP Hafizza Sauni urged for no bail to be given as the accused could harass the victim or her teammates, who were potential witnesses.

Defence lawyer Mohd Hisham Md Nen pleaded for leniency, saying his client only earned RM3,000 and had to care for his wife and two children, aged six and one.

Lawyer Cheow Wee, who conducted a watching brief for the victim, applied for the victim’s identity to be kept private.

“She was already traumatised enough. Plus, she is still training for the upcoming Olympics as part of the aquatics elite team,” he said.

Judge Wan Mohamad Norisham Wan Yaakob fixed bail at RM50,000 with two sureties.

The court also ordered Huang to surrender his passport and report himself to the nearest police station twice a month.

He was also warned that he is restricted from having any form of contact with the victim and witnesses, including staying away from the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex when training is being carried out, or his bail will be defaulted.

The court fixed Nov 6 for next mention of the case.

Last week, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the coach implicated in the diver’s alleged rape case had been suspended from work, and that his ministry would be carrying out their internal probe along with NSC, Asum and the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

He added his ministry had also formed a special committee to study the issue of sexual harassment of athletes, with SEA Games contingent chief Marina Chin heading the committee.

“The committee will study all aspects of the issue and the necessary short and long-term measures including the guidelines to handle complaints, a whistleblower policy, athletes’ welfare and other related matters.

“The committee will submit its report and recommendations direct to me,” Khairy was quoted as saying by FMT.


Earlier reports:

Oct 9, Aquatics Coach’s Remand Extended over Alleged Rape of National Diver

Oct 3, Aquatics Coach Arrested over Rape of National Trainee