Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen was cleared Wednesday of sexually assaulting a woman on a flight to Britain at a World Golf Championships event in Tennessee in 2019.
Olesen, 31, cried and hugged his partner after being acquitted by a London court of sexual assault, assault and drunkenness on the plane from Nashville to London.
Olesen faced allegations that he grabbed a woman’s breast, pushed a member of the cabin crew and urinated in the seat of a first-class passenger. He said he had no recollection of his behavior after drinking alcohol and taking sleeping pills.
Olesen’s attorney said the player’s career would have been “over” had he been convicted.
“I want to sincerely apologize to everyone on the flight … who were affected by my behavior,” Olesen said in a statement released after the verdict.
The jury deliberated for less than an hour.
âI don’t remember anything that happened after take-off, but I am embarrassed and ashamed of the account of my actions which was described during the trial,â said Olesen, five-time winner of the European Tour and ranked 62nd at the time of the incidents but has since fallen to No.432.
âI paid a heavy price for my mistake. This case has had a devastating impact on me personally, on my family and on my career.
Olesen, who was a member of the 2018 Ryder Cup winning European team, was arrested after arriving at Heathrow Airport on July 29, 2019. He was suspended by the European Tour the following month in the ‘awaiting an investigation, the suspension being lifted last July because of a delay in legal proceedings.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the past two years and the European Tour for re-entering me in 2020,” said Olesen. âI learned from my mistake and will make sure I never put myself in a similar position again. I now want to focus on my golf, without distractions, and rewarding the confidence of everyone who trusted me all. throughout this very difficult time.
A trial at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court in central London learned how he drank beer, red wine, vodka and champagne before take off after playing at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Olesen ran into the cabin “like a little boy”, got stuck in the toilet and became verbally abusive of the cabin crew when pulled over, the jury said.
Witnesses said Olesen pushed a member of the British Airways cabin crew, kissed the cabin service manager’s hand before making the sign of the cross, and buried his face in a woman’s neck before making the sign of the cross. grab his chest.
Olesen then cried before falling asleep, but then got up and urinated in the seat of another first-class passenger.
During his testimony, Olesen said he immediately wanted to fall asleep on the plane after playing several major tournaments, including the British Open.
âMy behavior was completely irrelevant and nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since. My actions were the result of taking strong sleeping pills that I had never taken before and my only intention was to make sure I managed to sleep on a transatlantic flight after a grueling play schedule. “