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Rugby: Denis Coulson missing, trial for gang rape of five players postponed to December

Rugby: Denis Coulson missing, trial for gang rape of five players postponed to December

Rugby: Denis Coulson missing, trial for gang rape of five players postponed to December

Valentina (name changed) we’ll have to wait a little longer. More than seven years after the facts were exposed on the morning of March 12, 2017, the young woman hoped to finally see justice at the end of a two-week trial that was due to begin this Monday at the Bordeaux Assize Court (Gironde). ). The debate began early in the day, first in front of the public and then behind closed doors at the request of the civilian side.

But the absence of one of the three co-accused in the gang rape, Irishman Denis Coulson, immobilized in Ireland after a car accident, forced the court to postpone the trial to a later date. It was scheduled from December 2 to December 13, 2024. “Mr Coulson was the victim of an accident before boarding a plane to go to my office. His state of health is very critical,” points out his lawyer Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, who spoke to the court about the “multiple traumatized” man.

Added to the debate are two photographs of the accident, in which we see a crushed car. The accident occurred in Dublin in the early morning of June 12 in a tunnel near the airport. A certificate signed by an Irish surgeon confirming Denis Coulson’s unfitness to travel was also sent last Friday.

“Without Denis Coulson this case would not have happened.”

The court attempted verification, but the court indicated that it “had no further information.” “The Anglo-Saxons have a sacred principle – medical confidentiality,” continues Me Dreyfus-Schmidt. He was operated on for a very long time. I have not been able to speak with my client and have no further information about the consequences. Transfer appears to be the most reasonable solution (…) to respect the rights of defense and interests of all parties. » Coulson won’t be able to move for at least “six weeks”.

“This situation is humanly intolerable and unfair to my client,” said MeAnne Cadiot-Veidt, a civil lawyer. We do not have any additional information about the circumstances of the incident. The direction is consistent (…) because without Denis Coulson this case wouldn’t exist. The court also found that the Irishman’s case was “inseparable” from that of the other defendants and that his presence was necessary to “bring out the truth and maintain adversarial proceedings.” »

Along with Frenchman Loïc Jammès, who still plays rugby in Provence (Pro D2), and New Zealander Rory Grice, a member of the Oyonnax team (promoted to Pro D2), Denis Coulson is one of the protagonists of this process. Three men face up to 20 years in prison. They were due to be tried alongside Irishman Christopher Farrell and New Zealander Dylan Hayes, who were charged with failing to prevent a crime. They face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of 75 thousand euros.

“He wanted to come to this trial”

“He wanted to come to this trial,” explains Mr. Dreyfus-Schmidt. You should know that Mr. Coulson is full of contradictions. He is extremely ashamed of what happened that evening, although he believes that this young woman gave her consent. Looking back, they were all very drunk, including the players. He understood, however, that if this young girl indicated that she was not in a sufficient state of consciousness, perhaps the outward signs she exhibited were not in accordance with her will. »

Denis Coulson’s role in this case is decisive, since the former pillar of Grenoble is present from the beginning to the end of the alleged events that were supposed to occur on the night of March 11-12, 2017. It was he who brought Valentin back by taxi from a nightclub in central Bordeaux to the players’ hotel in Grenoble, near the airport where his team was based after losing to local team UBB. Leaving the disco, Valentina is described as “amazing”. “She didn’t realize anything,” slips the witness.

The first sexual intercourse was to take place in the back seat of a car on the way to a hotel located 25 minutes away. This fact, like all the others given below, is the result of the defendant or defendants’ descriptions, with the victim only partially remembering that evening. At the scene of the incident, judging by the surveillance camera images, Valentin appears to be “asleep” and almost falls. She tries to get back into the taxi, but Denis Coulson “stops” her, “carrying” her into the lobby. A version that the Irishman disputes.

Consent is “unlikely”, according to the instructions

The rest happens behind closed doors in the room Denis Coulson shares with his compatriot Christopher Farrell, who was wounded in the afternoon and returned to rest. It’s almost 5am and another “full” sexual relationship is taking place between Valentin and Denis Coulson in the privacy of the bathroom. According to the guidelines, it was then “unlikely” that the required consent had been obtained by the rugby player.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., Denis Coulson, alarmed by the argument, left the room and returned while Frenchman Loïc Jammès was already there. The latter has never seen Valentina in his life, lies down next to her and begins sexual intercourse, to which Denis Coulson joins. A scene partially filmed by an Irishman in which we see Loïc Gemmes use a plastic bottle and a banana to penetrate a young woman’s vagina. He also admitted to using crutches for the same purpose. Genetic traces were found up to 20cm away from one of the crutches.

Two other actors, Rory Grice and Dylan Hayes, enter the room during the performance. The first one “engaged in oral sex”, the second lasted only a few minutes without intervention. Scenes played out in front of Christopher Farrell, who claimed he was “unaware” of Valentina’s suffering while under the influence of painkillers. The crutches used are Irish.

Faced with these brutal facts, the Bordeaux jury will have to evaluate Valentin’s state of mind to determine whether he was raped or not. The victim, now 27, never changed her story. Instead, the investigation suggested the existence of discussion groups set up by rugby players on the morning of the competition to agree on the version that would be given. All of them are considered innocent today.

Source: Le Parisien

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