ACT News

Former ambassador's husband cleared of child-sex charges

A jury has found the husband of a former Australian ambassador to Spain not guilty on two charges of child sex abuse.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a third charge.

Vytas Kapociunas leaves the ACT Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon with his wife Jane Hardy, a former Australian ...
Vytas Kapociunas leaves the ACT Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon with his wife Jane Hardy, a former Australian ambassador to Spain. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Vytas Kapociunas, 71, faced a two-week trial in the ACT Supreme Court this month on three counts of engaging in sexual activity other than sexual intercourse with a child aged under 16.

Returning for a third day of deliberations on Saturday after a nine-day trial, the jury told Chief Justice Helen Murrell shortly before 3pm that they had reached unanimous decisions on two counts.

The jury was discharged after delivering their verdicts.

Mr Kapociunas was cleared of three charges of sexual intercourse with the girl by a separate jury in July, but that jury was unable to reach a verdict on the lesser charges, leading to the retrial on those sexual activity offences.

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The alleged incidents were said to have occurred in a room in Mr Kapociunas' Madrid home last year. Mr Kapociunas, a well-known sculptor and painter, vehemently denied the allegations, saying he had only ever blown a raspberry on the girl's stomach while the pair were alone in a room together.

He left court holding hands with his wife of 33 years, Jane Hardy, and made no comment.

Ms Hardy ceased duty as the ambassador to Spain on November 3, 2014, a month after her husband was first charged and less than two years into what would normally be a three-year appointment.

The barrister for the prosecution told the court he would endeavour to resolve the position of the federal Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the undecided charge soon.

The matter has been listed for a mention in February.