Former Aussie boxer pleads not guilty to child sex charges

Ryan YoungNCA NewsWire
Marc Bargero (left) takes on Anthony Mundine (right) during a Super Middleweight Title match at Gosford in 2001.
Camera IconMarc Bargero (left) takes on Anthony Mundine (right) during a Super Middleweight Title match at Gosford in 2001. Credit: News Limited

A former Australian boxing champion, who is fighting multiple child sex charges, has been granted his request for a judge-alone trial.

Police have charged Marc Bargero, 53, with the alleged aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl on Sydney’s northern beaches in June 2020.

Veteran boxer Marc Bargero in his gym at Wyongah. After several years out of ring he is making a comeback this month.
Camera IconVeteran boxer Marc Bargero at his gym at Wyongah in 2010. Credit: News Limited

He has also been charged with two counts of intentionally sexually touching a child aged over 10 but under 16.

After pleading not guilty to all charges, Mr Bargero’s application to have a judge-alone trial was dealt with at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday.

The Crown opposed the application, with prosecutors arguing a jury would be better equipped to deal with assessing the credibility and reliability of witnesses who would be called to give evidence.

Judge Dina Yehia told the court Mr Bargero’s legal team intended to call an expert witness to give evidence at the trial, about ways in which DNA linked to the alleged crime could have been transferred.

“The Crown states that the main issues are likely to revolve around the account of the complainant, that is whether the events in question took place, and the presence of saliva on the swabs as being explicable by reason of aerosol transfer rather than direct application,” Judge Yehia said.

“That relates to the issue in respect to expert evidence being called.”

Boxing - Aust boxer Anthony Mundine (r) vs Marc Bargero super-middleweight title match in Gosford 19 Feb 2001. a/ct
bargero/mundine/match
/Boxing/Australia
Camera IconMarc Bargero (left) takes on Anthony Mundine (right) during a Super Middleweight Title match at Gosford in 2001. Credit: News Limited

Judge Yehia said Mr Bargero’s legal team had advised he would not be able to afford a second trial if his first one was aborted or adjourned because of potential Covid disruptions.

“It is in the interests of justice that a trial proceed with the least possibility of disruption or delay,” Judge Yehia told the court.

“Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, the high numbers of positive cases in the community, the increased transmissibility of this particular strain of the virus and the increased risk of illness, I am satisfied that the current position is such that there is an increased likelihood of disruption and delay.

“This means perhaps, that in more cases than would otherwise have warranted it, trials should proceed as judge-alone trials where there is consent by the accused.”

After granting Mr Bargero’s application, Judge Yehia said the trial had been set down to start on February 28.

Mr Bargero was one of Australia’s most talented fighters in his prime when he fought the likes of Anthony Mundine in domestic and international venues.

Nicknamed ‘Working Class Man’, Mr Bargero received numerous accolades during his career including the Australian Light Heavyweight, Australian Middleweight and Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight titles.

He is based on the NSW Central Coast where he owns a gym.

Originally published as Former Aussie boxer pleads not guilty to child sex charges

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