A Rotorua gymnastics coach has been found not guilty of two sexual assault charges.
Hareesh Nallella, known as Haady Nallella, 26, a coach at Mid Island Gym Sports (Migs) has been on trial in the Rotorua District Court this week after pleading not guilty to two charges, namely indecent assault and sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
Both charges relate to alleged offences against a woman on September 25, 2017 in Rotorua.
The Crown opened its case in Rotorua District Court before Judge Greg Hollister-Jones on Monday, telling the jury of six women and six men it was a case of unwanted sexual connection.
The Crown alleged Nallella met a young woman online, arranged to meet with her at a coffee shop in Rotorua Central, took her back to his house and sexually assaulted her, despite the woman's pleas for him to stop.
On Tuesday Nallella took the stand and admitted he had lied to police about having sexual contact with a woman because he was "scared and panicking" because police in India were corrupt.
After he was charged, he admitted to police he had sexual contact with the woman but said she initiated it and consented.
Nallella repeatedly said he knew he had not done anything wrong but he was scared to admit a sexual encounter had taken place.
Today the jury took one and a half hours to reach their verdicts, finding Nallella not guilty on both counts.
After the not guilty verdicts were read out, Nallella put his hands together and bowed to the jury.
Outside the courthouse, Nallella was trembling and said he wanted to take some time before speaking publicly.
He was supported by two members of the public. Both women said they didn't want to talk just yet until they had had time to speak with Nallella.