Lifesaver accused of rape from prestigious sporting family

 

THE young lifesaver accused of raping a 21-year-old woman at a Gold Coast clubhouse comes from one of the country's most prestigious surf lifesaving families, the Bulletin can reveal.

The charges, which have sent shockwaves through the clubbie community, came after an alleged incident on September 13 last year.

The star athlete has been charged with one count of rape and is due to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on March 3.

The Bulletin cannot identify the man for legal reasons. Picture: Alex Coppel. (NB: Generic Image)
The Bulletin cannot identify the man for legal reasons. Picture: Alex Coppel. (NB: Generic Image)

The Bulletin is restricted from identifying the man due to legal reasons but investigations show members of his family are life members of a surf club.
They are well-known within the clubbie and sporting community and have previously held senior positions at their surf club.

The lifesaver accused of rape was stood down from competition and patrols once the police investigation was concluded and a decision made to lay charges.

The Bulletin understands the youth shares dual membership at two surf clubs.

The locations of the clubs cannot be published for legal reasons.

Surf sources say members are shocked after learning of him being charged.

"The family are lifesaving matriarchs," a source said.

"They are known not only statewide but nationally. They've held positions. They've been recognised (for their contribution as volunteers).

"This is a family that is steeped in the lifesaving tradition."

The incident has shocked the community. Pic Stewart Allen
The incident has shocked the community. Pic Stewart Allen

Another source told the Bulletin he was shocked by the allegations, which were "every parent's worst nightmare".

The Bulletin understands Surf Life Saving Queensland will not conduct its own internal review until the police investigation is completed.

In a series of articles first published in 2019, the newspaper highlighted complaints by whistleblowers on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

In early 2019, a compliant file put together by a whistleblower focused on cultural issues.

A month later the movement faced a sex tape scandal after the sharing of video featuring a teenage girl and older boy, both members of another Coast club.

In a separate incident on the Sunshine Coast, footage of female beach stars in locker room showers was posted on social media.

There is no suggestion the allegations against the man are linked to these incidents.

Originally published as Lifesaver accused of rape from prestigious sporting family


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