Tag Archives: rape

Cuba volleyball players jailed for rape in Finland


BBC News

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 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.

Cuba had been taking part in a Volleyball World League tournament 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.
Lengthy ordeal
The court heard that two of the players had met the woman in a nightclub in the hotel basement. She later went to the room of one of the men, Uriarte Mestre, and consented to sex.

However, Uriarte Mestre was then said to have texted the other men without the woman’s knowledge. They entered the room and subjected the woman to a lengthy ordeal and held her by the hair to prevent her leaving.

When she was eventually allowed to leave, she complained to the hotel receptionist who called police.
The men had denied the accusation, insisting the woman had given consent.
The court in Tampere rejected the players’ evidence as partly contradictory
However, the court ruled they were guilty of aggravated rape and ordered the men 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.

Six Cuban volleyball players face rape trial in Finland


RT News

Six Cuban volleyball players are standing trial in Finland accused of raping a woman in early July at a hotel in Tampere, where Cuba’s national team was staying at the time.

The alleged offense happened during the 2016 FIVB World Volleyball League, which takes place in various cities around the world. The Cuban team had played matches in Osaka and Bratislava before heading to Tampere, a city in southern Finland.

Eight men were originally arrested in connection with the incident but two were later released without charge.

Despite the players being detained in Finland, Cuba decided to enter its volleyball team into the Rio Olympics this summer but lost all five of its matches.

If the men are found guilty of the offense, they could face a maximum prison sentence of eight years.

This type of trial is rare in Finland with only 8 percent of cases in which the victim has been raped by a stranger leading to trial.

The trial will take place behind closed doors at the District Court of Pirkanmaa, and is expected to last three days.

Eight Cuba volleyball players held in rape probe in Finland



En español El Nuevo Herald

Police in Finland investigating an alleged rape have arrested eight members of the Cuban national volleyball team.

They are suspected of raping a woman in a hotel in the Finnish city of Tampere on Friday, police say.

The Cuban team is in Finland taking part in the World League tournament.

Officials say they commented on the case because there had been speculation that the players had defected when they were not seen in the line-up.

Among those arrested is the team’s captain, who missed the match against Portugal on Sunday.

Police said they arrested three members of the team on Saturday and another five on Sunday after a complaint was made by a woman.

Details of the complaint have not been made public.

A decision on whether they should be released is expected later in the week. The team was due to travel back to Cuba on Monday.

Cuba lost against Finland on Saturday, but won against Portugal on Sunday despite having only eight men in the team.

It is currently ranked ninth in the tournament after six losses and three wins.

The team is due to compete in the Olympics which start next month in Rio de Janeiro.

Indiana woman sues Cuba alleging rape by soccer players


An Indiana woman who accused three members of the Cuban national soccer team of brutally raping her is now suing the Republic of Cuba, saying government officials there have refused to cooperate in a criminal investigation.

The lawsuit, which was filed March 18 in a federal district court in Indianapolis, comes as the United States works to restore the country’s relationship with Cuba. President Barack Obama recently concluded a historic three-day visit to Cuba, becoming the first sitting president to visit the communist island nation in nearly a century.

The woman, who lives in Avon, filed the lawsuit nearly a year after her attack, which she said happened March 31, 2015. She and her boyfriend were on a six-day vacation in Jamaica. Cuba’s national soccer team had just participated in an international friendly match against Jamaica’s team in the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

The incident happened in a women’s restroom in a club at the Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort in Montego Bay, where the woman, her boyfriend and members of the soccer team had been staying, according to the complaint.

With her voice trembling and her hands shaking as she held a Starbucks cup, the woman described what she says happened in an interview with IndyStar.

She heard men barge in moments after she went inside the restroom. They entered the stall next to hers, she said. One by one, they climbed over to her stall and raped her.

“(One of the men) climbed over down into my stall and pulled me up and slammed me against the wall and proceeded to rape (me),” the woman, who’s in her early 50s, said, pausing between words. “Then when the first one was done, he jumped back over to the stall and the second one came and when he was done, he jumped back over…”

IndyStar typically does not identify people who are or may have been victims of sexual assault.

In the lawsuit, the victim said the Cuban government intervened on the players’ behalf and compromised the investigation. DNA evidence from the athletes was not provided to Jamaican authorities, according to law enforcement there.

To this day, no one has been arrested or charged.

Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the official police force of the country, confirmed the agency’s involvement in the criminal investigation. Investigators collected DNA samples from the victim, her boyfriend and the crime scene, he said, but the athletes did not provide DNA evidence, and Jamaican officers cannot legally compel them to do so.

“There was not sufficient DNA evidence to press charges against the three persons that were accused,” McGregor told IndyStar.

Media specialists at the International Press Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba did not respond to multiple emails from IndyStar. Efforts to reach them by phone were unsuccessful. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, which organizes competitions for many national soccer teams, including Cuba’s, also did not respond to requests for comment.

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