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IPL molestation case: Luke Pomersbach to appear in Delhi court today

CNN-IBN
May 19, 2012 at 02:58pm IST

New Delhi: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach will appear in a Delhi court on Saturday for allegedly molesting a woman and beating up her fiance during a party post an IPL match in the early hours of Friday. The court will decide if Pomersbach should continue to stay out on bail or go back into police custody.

Luke has claimed innocence in the case. He said on Saturday, "I am innocent. It's a conspiracy... The girl is seeking attention.. That's why she is doing this..."

The Australian cricketer was arrested on Friday and later granted an interim bail till Saturday in the case.

The police will produce CCTV footage and the doctors' opinion in the court.

The Delhi Police said, "A US national, staying at Hotel Maurya, was molested by Luke Pomersbach, an Australian player of RCB when they were partying in her room. When her fiance Sahil intervened he too was boxed by Luke. A case under Sections 354, 323, 454 and 511 IPC registered at PS Chanakya Puri."

Pomersbach was also taken to the RML hospital for a medical examination.

Revealing the details of the incident, the woman, an American national, said, "Luke followed us to our room. He came inside. When I asked him to leave, he molested me. When my fiance intervened and asked him to leave, he punched him repeatedly."

The victim alleged that she did not receive any help from the hotel. "The hotel management never called the police. I called the police myself. The hotel management did not give any medical assistance either."

"I want Luke to be punished," she added.

The player's father, however, claimed that he was innocent. George Pomersbach, who spoke to Luke by phone, said that he told him he was involved in a fracas with the woman's fiance and two of the man's friends at a hotel, believed to be the ITC Maurya Hotel.

"My son did not believe there were any other witnesses to the incident," George said, adding that the RCB should support Luke during the trial.

"I am concerned the RCB are wiping their hands clean," he added.

Reacting to the incident, the Indian Premier League committee made an attempt to distance itself from it.

IPL chief Rajiv Shukla said, "IPL is not responsible for a player's behaviour. There was no official party hosted by the IPL. It's the behaviour of an individual, let the police handle it."

When asked what action will be taken against Pomersbach, Shukla said, "We will wait for the report from the police and then react."

The owner of RCB, Vijay Mallya, was also circumspect, as he said, "Luke will not play for RCB in the IPL till he is cleared of all the charges."

However, Vijay Mallya's son Sidhartha Mallya, who is the director of the team, appeared to be backing the cricketer, even questioning the character of the victim.

Mallya junior posted a tweet: "The girl who is accusing Luke of hitting her fiance was all over me last night. If he was her fiance she wasn't exactly behaving like a future wife."

However, he then promised that if Luke "is in the wrong, then trust me he will face the necessary sanctions. But what this girl is doing is idiotic".

Angered by the tweets of the RCB director, the victim threatened she would sue Sidhartha Mallya for questioning her character. She also went on to say that she even feared for her life.

She said, "I am very hurt and disappointed... It is a false statement. I did meet Sidhartha Mallya. Sahil was invited to the IPL party and I was with him."

The police have now been asked to scan the CCTV footage and explain the sequence of events. The court has also sought a report on the kind of injuries Luke and the victim's fiance have suffered. The magistrate will then decide whether to grant him regular bail or send him to Tihar Jail.

This is not Luke Pomersbach's first brush with law. Earlier he was jailed in a drunken driving case and also went to a rehabilitation centre for an alcohol problem.

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