NEWCASTLE boxer Scott Edwards has pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual assault offences and will face a trial in Newcastle District Court.
Mr Edwards, 30, appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from Parklea Correctional Centre on Wednesday where his solicitor, Kristy Winter, entered not guilty pleas to six counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person between the age of 10 and 14, indecent assault a person under the age of 16, break and enter and commit indictable offence and installing a listening device.
The matter was adjourned to Newcastle District Court next month when Mr Edwards will be arraigned and get a trial date sometime next year.
Mr Edwards was arrested in March this year and charged with the sexual assault offences, which are alleged to have occurred during 2012, and the break and enter and installing listening device charges.
He initially did not apply for bail and was in custody when he was due to defend his NSW welterweight title and headline “Detonation 8” at Wests City on April 1 this year.
Mr Edwards – who at the time of his arrest operated Sapphire Boxing and Fitness in Newcastle – applied for release from jail in May, with his solicitor, Chris O’Brien telling Magistrate Robert Stone that Mr Edwards had given an electronically recorded interview with police where he had denied all of the allegations.
“He vehemently rejects any wrongdoing and, in fact, in his interview the propositions are put to him simply and he denies them all,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien said Mr Edwards suspects he was “set-up” by his former partners, who he said “could have put their heads together” and concocted the allegations.
“Mr Edwards claims that this is just nothing more than the family just trying to get rid of Mr Edwards out of their lives,” Mr O’Brien said.
But Office of the Director of Public Prosecution solicitor Julie Gomez said police recorded a conversation between Mr Edwards and the alleged victim, during which Mr Edwards was allegedly “evasive” and “apologised” for something.
If convicted of the most serious charge of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person between the age of 10 and 14, Mr Edwards faces the maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
“He vehemently rejects any wrongdoing and, in fact, in his interview the propositions are put to him simply and he denies them all."Scott Edward's solicitor, Chris O'Brien, told Magistrate Robert Stone during a bail application in May.