Australia

Equestrian accused of harassing rape victim in ‘soap opera’ case

A would-be Olympic equestrian rider and his girlfriend allegedly stalked and harassed a woman who accused the man of rape in a case that resembles a “soap opera”, a court has heard. Elite rider Callum Buczak, 28, is charged with stalking the alleged victim between February 28 and December 6 last year and “encouraging” his…

A would-be Olympic equestrian rider and his girlfriend allegedly stalked and harassed a woman who accused the man of rape in a case that resembles a “soap opera”, a court has heard.

Elite rider Callum Buczak, 28, is charged with stalking the alleged victim between February 28 and December 6 last year and “encouraging” his girlfriend to trace the woman’s online activity.

He also allegedly directed other people to use a carriage service to harass by sending “offensive messages and an image” between March 3 and April 15, 2019, according to charge sheets released by the court.

His lawyer Damian Sheales described the case as a “soap opera” at a committal mention in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

He also said the alleged victim had “waged a war” against his client.

Meanwhile, Mr Buczak’s partner Alexandra McDonough, 29, allegedly stalked her partner’s accuser, using Instagram to trace online activity and sending it on to Mr Buczak, according to court documents.

But her lawyer, Mark Gumbleton, said he wanted to see some of the charges against Ms McDonough withdrawn.

The couple are also charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to a court order. Both lawyers for the accused pair were successful in applying to cross-examine witnesses over the allegations.

A trial for Mr Buczak for the alleged rape has been set down for May. He has strenuously denied the charges against him.

Mr Buczak and Ms McDonough will return to court in July 2021.

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