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Five Cuban national volleyball team players jailed for rape in Finland

Picture taken on 29 August in court in Tampere of Luis Sosa SierraImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Cuban volleyball player Luis Sosa Sierra (centre) was handed a sentence of three and a half years

Five members of Cuba’s national volleyball team have been convicted of raping a Finnish woman during a World League tournament in Tampere.

Four of the men, including the captain, were given five-year jail sentences while a fifth is facing a prison term of three and a half years.

They were detained in the southern Finnish city on 2 July after a woman said she had been raped at a hotel.

Eight men were originally held. Two were released soon afterwards.

Another of the players was released from detention at the end of August and acquitted by the court in Tampere.

The team had been taking part in a tournament ahead of the Rio Olympics when the rape took place at the hotel in which the players were staying.

The men had denied the accusation, insisting the woman had given consent.

The men given the longer sentences included 27-year-old captain Rolando Cepeda Abreu, Alfonso Gavilan, 21, Ricardo Calvo Manzano, 19, and Osmany Uriarte Mestre, who is also 21. Luis Sosa Sierra, 21, was given a shorter sentence.

They were ordered to pay €24,000 (£20,500; $27,000) in compensation to the victim.

As the allegations emerged, two of the team coaches were sacked.

Despite its depleted squad, Cuba fielded a team in Rio and lost all five of its matches.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37417356