Five members of the Cuban national volleyball team have been jailed for gang-raping a woman during a tournament.
Four players, including 27-year-old team captain Rolando Cepeda Abreu, Abrahan Alfonso Gavilan, 21, Ricardo Calvo Manzano, 19, and Osmany Uriarte Mestre, 21, were handed five-year prison sentences for aggravated rape.
They were due to take part in the Rio Olympics, but were suspended after allegations of the rape surfaced, which took place during a Volleyball World League event in Finland in July.
Rolando Cepeda Abreu of Cuba serves the ball during the FIVB World Championships match between Cuba and Canada. He has been jailed for five years
The Pirkanmaa district court said the Finnish woman, whose identity was not disclosed, was attacked on the night of July 2 in a hotel where the Cuban team was staying during the championship in the southern town of Tampere.
Few details of the events were disclosed to the media and public, and the trial was held behind closed doors to protect the victim.
According to the charge sheet, the players ‘had together and in mutual understanding forced the victim to several acts of sexual intercourse by means of violence and by taking advantage of her fear and state of helplessness.’
Court documents reveal the victim first agreed to have sex with Uriarte Mestre, but after sleeping with her, he invited his team-mates to join in without her consent.
Then they forced her to have sex with them in ‘several ways’ and ‘several times’.
A fifth player, Luis Sosa Sierra, 21, received a shorter sentence of three years and six months.
The rest of the Cuban national team finished last in their group at the Olympic Games in Rio, with five straight defeats.
The court said it had acquitted Dariel Albo Miranda, 24, after the victim and his teammates confirmed his claim that he had not participated in the rape.