Instructor to contest sexual assault charge

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A Coleraine fitness instructor and fitness model competitor is set to contest an accusation he sexually assaulted a woman.

Aaron John Wright (38), formerly of Railway Road but now with an address at Captain Street Lower, is charged with intentionally touching the woman, ‘the circumstances being that the touching was sexual, that she did not consent to the touching and you did not reasonably believe that she so consented’.

He is also charged with common assault against her. A third charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on the same date, December 27 last year, has been withdrawn.

The accused was present at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday to hear the contest will take place in mid-September.

When he first appeared in court in connection with the case back in January he confirmed he understood the charges and a police officer believed she could connect the accused to the charges. At a subsequent court hearing, a defence lawyer complained at the length of time it was taking for the case to be dealt with.

That lawyer told Coleraine Magistrates Court in June the case was “straight forward” and involved one complainant and one other witness. In July a defence lawyer demanded progress in the case saying his client had the matter reported in detail in the press for a number of months. At court on Monday the accused was released on bail with the condition that he does not attempt to contact the victim.