Sarah Abitbol and Stephane Bernadis during a European figure skating competition in 2002.
FABRICE COFFRINI / EFE
The old French coach Gilles beyer was charged this Friday for sexual assault and harassment against skaters, months after one of them had unleashed a scandal with a book in which she denounced not only having been raped by him, but also the indifference of the French Federation of Ice Sports.
Beyer, who had been under arrest since last Wednesday, was left in freedom under judicial control After appearing before the judge who indicted him, he is accused of sexual assaults on three skaters under his authority and sexually harassing other six.
The French justice opened a first investigation for rapes and sexual assaults on minors on February 4 of last year, a week after the expat Sarah Abitbol, bronze at the 2000 World Cups, published a book in which he uncovered everything. The scandal led to the resignation immediate of the president of the federation.
– Sarah ABITBOL (@Abitbol_sarah) June 18, 2020
In the publication titled “Un si long silence” (Such a long silence) Abitbol claimed to have been raped by Beyer, who was his coach. He later acknowledged that he had “intimate relations” with her, which he described as “inappropriate”, and asked her forgiveness.
The events took place when the athlete had between 15 and 17 years And despite his complaints then they did not translate into consequences for Beyer, who continued to hold important positions in the Federation.
The events described by Abitbol occurred in the early 1990s and, therefore, have prescribed criminally, but the prosecutor in charge of the case assures that they will seek “other victims who may have suffered infractions of the same nature ”.
From there, other cases of possible victims equally minor, but the facts were prescribed. The crimes for which he has been charged now concern other athletes who were of legal age at the time of the events.
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