PONTOISE: France’s former national artistic roller-skating coach has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault and rape of a minor, the prosecutor’s office in Pontoise outside Paris said Monday.
After having denied everything since 2011, Arnaud Mercier, 42, admitted to the court that he had sexually assaulted teenage girls but denied rape.
The prosecution called last week for a 20-year jail term.
The case centred around his actions towards two young skaters dating back to 2011 when one of the skaters first reported that she had been abused by her trainer since the age of eight.
He was suspended from his duties first for six months and then definitively.
In 2015, a second skater who had initially defended Mercier, made a complaint detailing daily rapes from the age of 13, punishments for not complying with certain sexual acts, and meetings with other men arranged by the trainer.
Two other athletes came forward to testify, one of them alleging he had raped her for two years when she was between the ages of 16 and 18.–AFP