New Zealand Cricket is under growing pressure for not publicly taking a stand on sexual consent in relation to one of its players.

Fast bowler Scott Kuggeleijn was found not guilty of rape in a retrial in 2017, which came after the first trial in 2016 resulted in a hung jury.

But it is his conduct which was highlighted in those trials, and New Zealand Cricket's decision not to publicly address it, which has angered some fans and frustrated sexual violence prevention advocates.

Their protests have intensified as Kuggeleijn has made more regular appearances for the Black Caps this summer. At matches in Wellington and Auckland last week, supporters held signs which promoted sexual consent and targeted New Zealand Cricket for what they saw as inaction.


When Kuggeleijn was first selected for the national side in March 2017, NZ Cricket chief executive David White said the organisation had to respect the court process and that it would be "manifestly unfair" to all parties to re-litigate the case. The court was "the most appropropriate forum for judging matters as serious as this", he said.

NZC has not addressed the issue again since, except to say that it stood by its handling of the matter and that it has introduced comprehensive sexual consent training for all players. It has been approached for comment.

Sexual violence groups say that a not guilty verdict does not mean there is nothing for Kuggeleijn or NZ Cricket to account for. What the jury heard during the case was also important, they said.


Kuggeleijn was charged with sexual violation by way of rape in relation to an alleged incident at a Hamilton East flat on May 17, 2015. The complainant was a 21 year-old student at Waikato University, who has permanent name suppression.

At the time, he played for Northern Knights, a top tier team in New Zealand's domestic cricket league.

In the first trial, a jury of eight men and four women heard that the complainant went back to her flat with Kuggeleijn after running into to him at a party and then later at a nightclub.

After initially kissing and fondling in her bed, she said that she told him "no" to sex. They then went to sleep. The woman woke at 7am the next day and the two began kissing. "I started to say no to him. I was a lot more firm ... this time," she said.


The woman said Kuggeleijn pinned her arms down and had sex with her against her will. Immediately afterwards she got dressed and left the room before bursting into her flatmate's room distraught. Kuggeleijn texted her on the Monday apologising for being persistent, she said.

Kuggeleijn's lawyer, Philip Morgan QC, said Kuggeleijn had stopped his sexual activity when the complainant told him to on two occasions. But after they woke in the morning, he tried again and this time he did not hear a "no", Morgan said. He said Kuggeleijn denied the woman's claim that he had pinned her arms above her head.

When he took the stand, Kuggeleijn said he was led to believe the woman was interested in him because she grabbed his crotch at the party. He said that she had been "flirty" and "touchy feely" and was dressed provocatively with her "breasts out". He had told a friend that she was the type of girl who "loved penis".

"I hadn't known her for very long and there's not many women who you haven't known for very long who grab your groin like that," he said.

After 11 hours of deliberation, the jury said it could not reach a verdict.


The second trial began on February 20, 2017, before a jury of six men and six women.

At the trial, the complainant said she had said "no" to sex "dozens of times". On the morning of the alleged assault, she said she repeatedly had to try and hold up her underwear as Kuggeleijn pressured her for sex. However, at one point, she said, she couldn't hold them up any longer and he got them down, eventually holding her arms above her head and beginning to having sex with her.

In the stand, Kuggeleijn said he thought the complainant had been enjoying the intercourse because she was "breathing heavily" and acted the same as when he was touching her. Allegations that he used force were "not true", he said.

When asked about the complainant's evidence that she said "no" "dozens of times", he said it was "a lie". "I tried [having sex] twice, like she might have said 'no, no' a few times but it wasn't dozens of times."

He and his lawyer reiterated their defences from the first trial that the woman had been "provocatively dressed" and "looking for male attention". Attention was also drawn to the amount of alcohol she had been drinking and her reliability as a witness.

After deliberating for 40 minutes, the jury found Kuggeleijn not guilty.

A month later, Kuggeleijn was called up to the national side.


While Kuggeleijn was found not guilty in court, academics and sexual violence groups have raised concerns about what the trial revealed about his character - and about how NZ Cricket has handled the matter.

University of Auckland professor Nicola Gavey, who has specialised in sexual violence issues, wrote in a blog post that the evidence presented in court about the behaviour leading to Kuggeleijn's arrest made it difficult for people in sexual violence prevention to "sweep the whole thing under the rug".

She was particularly concerned with NZ Cricket's "wall of silence".

"A not guilty verdict does not mean there is nothing to account for. No-one is asking for 'relitigation'. But doing nothing is not a neutral position. When Kuggeleijn appears on the field and the commentators talk up his glory with bat and ball, it's as if his actions off the field have been forgiven and forgotten by the cricketing fraternity."

Gavey said she was not arguing that Kuggeleijn should never represent his country or that he could not rise above his past.

"But when a man represents New Zealand in a high profile sport like cricket or rugby he is automatically elevated to a position of unique status and potential influence in New Zealand society. And for that reason, the position carries a reasonable burden of expectation for decent behaviour. And an expectation of public accountability when he falls short."


Kathryn McPhillips, the executive director of HELP Auckland, said it was not Kuggeleijn's selection for the team in itself that was problematic.

"It's problematic because there's a vacuum on the other side," she said. "There's nothing being done to remedy what happened.

"When we select people for international teams we reinforce that they're heroes.

"And really, our heroes need to have good behaviour to be in that place. Because the human psyche doesn't divide it up to say 'Yes he's a hero for that and not for that'.

"There is a responsibility if you are placed in that hero position to live up to that. When you don't live up to that, doing something to offset that or to change the impressions - there is a place for that."

McPhillips said NZ Cricket should have front footed the issue when Kuggeleijn was first selected.

"It could have come out with some comment from him, that was understanding where he went wrong and what he's going to do differently and how important it is to seek consent."

It could also have run its own campaign on consent, or publicly supported the NZ Police campaign called "Don't Guess the Yes".

"That's hero behaviour," she said. "Brushing it under the carpet and not talking about it - that's not consistent with being put up on that pedestal."