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Town player denies rape

PUBLISHED: 13:48 27 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

By SEB SHORT AND COLIN ADWENT



IPSWICH Town's Dutch midfielder Guillermo Graaven has denied he had raped a 17-year-old girl after a night out.

The 19-year-old is on police bail along with another man after an it was alleged both had sexually assaulted the teenager.

By SEB SHORT AND COLIN ADWENT

IPSWICH Town's Dutch midfielder Guillermo Graaven has denied he had raped a 17-year-old girl after a night out.

The 19-year-old is on police bail along with another man after an it was alleged both had sexually assaulted the teenager.

Speaking at his home on the outskirts of Ipswich town centre Mr Graaven said he would be looking to have meeting with his manager George Burley and chairman David Sheepshanks to discuss the allegations today.

"I completely deny this," said Mr Graaven. "A policeman arrived yesterday (Sunday)when me and my dad were here and I just couldn't believe it. It was just a shock.

"My name is now going to have a slur against it. And I will always be thought of as being involved in this incident. I am really worried about going to training today and everyone looking at me. I will go in today and talk to George Burley and David Sheepshanks if he is there."

However the 17-year-old girl's mother today said she believed the accusations her daughter had made against Mr Graaven and another 19-year-old man.

She also told how her distressed daughter broke down as she told her of the alleged sex attack which reportedly happened at a bedsit in east Ipswich early yesterday.

"My daughter called me at 8am," said the girl's mother. "She was in hysterics. She still is. She is in pieces."

"I believe my daughter and I will be supporting her in every way possible."

On the point of tears and her voice quivering with emotion she added: "That's my child. She's my baby."

Mr Graaven was arrested along with another 19-year-old on Sunday after a call was made to Ipswich police at around 7am.

It is believed the girl accepted a lift from two men after a night out at Kartouche.

It is alleged that the pair took her to the bedsit where it is claimed she was raped by both of them.

Although a Suffolk Constabulary would not confirm the identity of either of the men today, a spokesman said: "Ipswich police are investigating a report of a rape on a 17-year-old female in the Ipswich area and detectives were interviewing two 19-year-old men in connection with this report.

"The two men have now been released on bail pending further inquiries."

Mr Graaven joined the Blues a year ago from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam.

Although he has been on the fringes of the first team his progress was hampered by injury.

Mr Graaven, progressed through the youth system at Ajax Amsterdam before coming to England in the summer of 2000 after accepting the offer of a two-year contract at Portman Road.

His hopes of an immediate impact were dealt a bitter blow when he suffered ligament damage in a reserve team match against Leicester last September blocking an immediate call up to the Dutch under-18 team.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Town Football Club said: "The club are not aware of any more details other than the fact that Guillermo Graaven has been detained for questioning, therefore we can give no further comment at this stage."

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