June 30, 2017 / 1:26 PM / a month ago

Finnish court acquits Cuban volleyball player jailed for aggravated rape

2 Min Read

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Cuban national volleyball player Luis Tomas Sosa Sierra was on Friday acquitted of aggravated rape by a Finnish appeals court, which also cut the prison sentences of four team mates.

A district court in September found the five players from the Cuban national team guilty of aggravated rape of a woman, while they were in Finland in July 2016 for a World League tournament prior to the Rio Olympics.

In the earlier hearing, the four others were sentenced to five years in prison, and Sosa Sierra to three and a half years.

All the men denied the charges, either disputing any sexual intercourse with the woman, or by saying it had happened by mutual consent, and appealed the verdict.

On Friday, the court of appeals rejected the charge against Sosa Sierra for an absence of evidence, and acquitted him.

Two of the players, Osmany Santiago Uriarte Mestre and Ricardo Norberto Calvo Manzano, were found guilty of aggravated rape, but their sentences were lowered to four and to three and a half years in prison.

The court also cut the prison terms of the two other men, Abraham Alfonso Gavilan and Rolando Cepeda Abreu, finding Gavilan guilty of a coerced sexual act and Abreu of rape.

Gavilan's sentence was cut to one year and three months, and Abreu's to two and a half years.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Alison Williams

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