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Thursday, October 19
Atuhaire released for unknown reason

SYDNEY, Australia -- A Ugandan Olympic athlete who had been accused of sexual assault was freed Thursday (Wednesday night ET) after Australian prosecutors dropped the charges.

Joe Atuhaire, a 22-year-old swimmer, was charged with having sexual intercourse without consent with a 17-year-old girl near the main Olympic site on Sept. 20. He faced a maximum term of 14 years in jail if convicted.

Atuhaire fled to the central-southern city of Adelaide during the Games, where he was arrested, extradited to Sydney and granted bail at a previous court appearance.

He had been expected to enter a plea at Thursday's hearing, but instead prosecutors told the Downing Center Local Court that the charges had been dropped. They did not explain why.

Atuhaire was eliminated from competition on Sept. 16, the first morning of the games. He was the slowest of 65 competitors in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Atuhaire was expected to return to Uganda.
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