Hundreds of French sports coaches sexually abused minor girls: probe

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More than 400 French sports coaches, teachers and other adults are accused of sexual violence and harassment of mostly girls under the age of 15, an investigation by the country’s sports ministry found.

More than 100 people have been fired or suspended from their sports jobs as a result of the investigation, and 60 people face criminal proceedings, the ministry said.

Ninety-six percent of the accused are men and 83 percent of the alleged victims are women. Of them, 63 percent are under the age of 15.

The probe began in February last year after French skating star Sarah Abitbol said she was raped as a teenager by her coach, Gilles Beyer, in the 1990s. Beyer was charged with sexual assault following the allegations.

Abitbol’s account marked “a historic moment for French sport,” the ministry said.

At a government meeting on Friday, Abitbol applauded other victims for speaking out and said she was “healing” from the abuse.

French tennis champion Isabelle Demongeot, who also said she was raped by her coach, and former hammer thrower Catherine Moyon de Baecque — one of the first French female athletes to come forward about abuse in 1991 — also spoke at the meeting about the difficulty of coming forward.

With Post wires

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