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Dunedin cruise ship rape charge dismissed

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 8:10a.m.
The man was initially charged with rape after an alleged incident on December 12, 2017 when the cruise ship Noordam was in Port Chalmers.
The man was initially charged with rape after an alleged incident on December 12, 2017 when the cruise ship Noordam was in Port Chalmers.

A man accused of raping a woman on a cruise ship docked in Dunedin has had charges against him dismissed.

Ronald Sagum Ramirez, 34, was due to face a jury trial at the Dunedin District Court later this month but yesterday's appearance superseded it.

He was charged with rape after an alleged incident on December 12, 2017 when the cruise ship Noordam was in Port Chalmers.

Crown prosecutor Catherine Ure told the court yesterday the prosecution would offer no evidence and Judge Emma Smith dismissed the charges against the defendant.

There was no discussion in court as to why Ramirez's case was dropped.

Last month there was a pre-trial argument over how the New York-based complainant would give evidence.

The prosecution had applied to have her testify by video link but that was opposed by defence counsel John Westgate.

He told the court there was no suggestion the woman suffered any psychological issues that would make returning to New Zealand particularly arduous.

The outcome of that application became meaningless after yesterday's hearing.

Ramirez walked free.

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