Cuban volleyball players convicted of rape in Finland

Cuban volleyball players convicted of rape in Finland
Five members of the Cuban men’s national volleyball team have been given prison sentences of up to five years after being found guilty of rape in Finland.

The men were convicted of raping a Finnish woman in the city of Tampere, southern Finland, during a Volleyball World League tournament held there in July.

Four of the men were given five-year prison sentences, while the fifth was handed a three-and-a-half-year term.

The men were also told to pay a total of €24,000 ($27,000) in compensation to the victim.

The men were among eight members of the team detained on July 2, after a woman said she had been raped at a hotel where the team was staying.

READ MORE: Cuban volleyball players face rape trial in Finland

Two of the men were released shortly afterwards, and another was subsequently acquitted by a Finnish court at the end of August.

However, the remaining five – team captain Rolando Cepeda Abreu, 27, Alfonso Gavilan, 21, Ricardo Calvo Manzano, 19, Osmany Uriarte Mestre, 21, and Luis Sosa Sierra, also 21 – have now been convicted of rape.

The men had maintained their innocence, claiming the women had consented to sex.

It is not yet known whether they will appeal the verdict. 

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Two of the team's coaches were dismissed following the allegations, although the Cuban national team did go on to compete at the Rio Olympics, where it lost all of its matches.