The Yvelines Assize Court on Wednesday sentenced a former tennis coach, Andrew Geddes, to eighteen years of criminal imprisonment for the rape of several of his former students, all minors at the material time.
At the end of this second trial marked by difficult testimonies, Mr. Geddes, who had been sentenced to the same sentence at first instance, was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting four young girls aged 12 to 17 at the start. 2000s and between 2009 and 2014.
At the material time, Andrew Geddes, 53 years old today, was a renowned coach of the Sarcelles club, the best of Val-d'Oise, then of the Levallois Sporting Club (LSC).
Her first victim was 12 when she met him in 1999. A great hope of her generation, she claims to have been raped and sexually assaulted nearly 400 times by the ex-coach until she was 14.
A pattern that was repeated with three other victims, aged 15 to 17 when they were trained by this coach considered charismatic but very hard with his students.
One after another, victims described a "process of grip" in which he cut them off from their families and friends, forced often violent sex, in his car, in the club's bathroom or during of internships in La Baule.
They all became "sex slaves" of a "guru" who practiced with them "hot and cold", explained Tuesday the attorney general, who had requested eighteen years in prison.
"The extremely upsetting statements by the victims rightly made me feel like a real rot," Andrew Geddes said Wednesday morning before the court retired to deliberate.
He also admitted having "become aware" of his "guilt" and the "horrors" committed.
"This is the culmination of seven years of fighting to obtain a decision that will allow my client to continue on her way", responded to AFP Me Nicolas Cassart, lawyer for one of the civil parties.
For Me Didier Leick, counsel to two young women, "it is a confirmatory and predictable decision which can be explained by the seriousness of the facts, their duration in time and their frequency".
"We want to make this man an example to try to repair what we have not done in the past," said on their side Me Benjamin Mathieu and Me Alexia Gavini, Andrew Geddes' lawyers.
The defense has five days to seize the Court of Cassation.
Placed under judicial control in June, the ex-coach, impassive during the delivery of the verdict, left the courtroom handcuffed after the announcement of the deliberation, which lasted more than 7 hours.
© 2021 AFP