Goalie's nightmare ordeal over as rape charges withdrawn
A top Irish League footballer who was facing charges of rape and sexual assault has had his life "turned upside down" by the ordeal.
Ballinamallard goalkeeper Alvin Rouse had every charge withdrawn during a brief appearance at Dungannon Magistrates Court yesterday.
The 33-year-old, from Old Armagh Road in Monaghan, had faced seven charges, including three counts of rape, two of sexual assault, one of false imprisonment and one of causing a person to engage in a sexual act.
Yesterday an official from the Public Prosecution Service formally withdrew all allegations.
However, the prosecutor did not provide any reason for the move.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Rouse's solicitor Jarlath Faloon said his client had been through a terrible time but was completely vindicated. "The forensic evidence which led to these charges against my client was completely incorrect," Mr Faloon said.
"The decision to prosecute was therefore flawed from the outset and the withdrawal of these changes is long overdue.
"Mr Rouse has been through a terrible time. His life has been turned upside down and he almost lost his job. He is now entirely vindicated and considering what action he intends to take in response to the trauma he has been forced to endure."
Mr Rouse was accompanied to court yesterday by Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson, who said he was delighted with the development.
"I am first of all delighted for Alvin, who has over the last nine months endured a very difficult time," he said.
"He has from the first day claimed his innocence and has been clear and concise regarding the night in question.
"He never wavered from his story and has not displayed the demeanour of a guilty man.
"Very serious charges were pressed and severe bail conditions applied by the court.
"Ballinamallard United Football Club are delighted for Alvin and it is great news for everyone, including the players and supporters, just three days before the new season starts."
Mr Rouse, originally from Barbados, previously played in the Irish League for Dungannon Swifts, and for League of Ireland side Monaghan Utd. He signed for Ballinamallard in 2012 and made 36 league appearances last season.
He has 15 international caps, having made his debut for Barbados in a friendly against Guyana in September 2006.
Alvin Rouse has played for football clubs in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic and his native Barbados. Between 1999 and 2003 he played for Barbados Defence Force SC before signing for League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers in 2004. He left Rovers the following year and played for several other clubs including Macclesfield Town, Monaghan United and Galway United. In January 2009 Rouse was signed by Dungannon Swifts, and played there until 2010 when he quit local football. In June 2012 Rouse made a surprise return to the Irish League, signing a contract with newly-promoted Ballinamallard.