Former York University Challenge contestant cleared of rape

He called the woman’s claims “horrible, horrible lies”

A former York student who appeared on University Challenge has been cleared of rape and assault by penetration at his second trial.

The jury was told how the woman alleged Bartholomeo Joly de Lotbinere had sex with her without her consent in her halls of residence after a night-out in 2014.

Joly de Lotbiniere denied raping the woman and told the police “these are horrible, horrible lies”.

He told the court it was a mutual decision to stop the consensual sexual encounter and he was embarrassed about what happened. Joly de Lotbiniere denied the woman had tried to stop him, saying he stated at the time there was no point continuing, and they both agreed to stop.

In the days afterwards, the complainant texted Joly de Lotbiniere: "I thought I'd let you know I wasn't overly comfortable with what happened on Thursday night."

Mr Joly de Lotbiniere replied: "Neither did I. I was a disgrace and did a very stupid thing and I am very sorry for what I did.

"I just hope you can forgive me at some point and I'll try my best not to act like a bloody 14 year old again and start acting my age, sorry."

Explaining in court, Joly de Lotbinere said: "I had embarrassed myself – I had posed as someone who could do a one-night stand."

The woman, now 22, accused Joly de Lotbiniere of rape after seeing him appear on University Challenge. She stated she saw a tweet by the Pointless host Richard Osman about him appearing on the show, which made her angry and upset.

The jury at the original trial of Joly de Lotbiniere at York Crown Court in February were unable to reach verdicts.

The jury at his retrial at Bradford Crown Court, consisting of seven woman and five men, took six hours to find Joly de Lotbiniere not guilty.