This is why we dropped the case against 'gym masturbator': Virgin Active
Virgin Active said they had opted for psychological help for the man who allegedly publicly masturbated in their gym instead of pushing for criminal charges.
The gym group confirmed that it had dropped a sexual assault case against him. Virgin Active settled their case against the 18-year-old in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning.
Virgin Active spokesperson Carla White said the man was banned for life after a video of him allegedly masturbating while watching an unsuspecting female gym member doing squats went viral last month.
Although his sexual assault case was dropped, White said the National Prosecuting Authority was likely to set specific conditions that he would be required to meet relating to the withdrawal of the case.
"We took immediate action when we were presented with the video, identifying and banning the member for life. What he did was wrong, however we are of the opinion that psychological help may be more appropriate than criminal sanction," said White.
Two videos were taken of the incident from different angles and show the man sitting in the middle of the gym floor with his left hand down his pants. His right hand is holding a cellphone as he appears to be taking a video of a woman doing squats.
Regarding their decision, White said: "We believe this is the most balanced way to deal with the situation. We are aware of the outcry surrounding the incident from various interest groups. Our clubs are shared spaces, and we took action in accordance with our rules, which are in place to make our clubs safe places for training.
"We cannot control the behaviour of individuals, but we can take action when their behaviour contravenes our rules. Our sanctions are applied uniformly, regardless of age, race or religion."