She wakes up naked with a crutch in her vagina: three ex-Grenoble players tried for gang rape of a student

She wakes up naked with a crutch in her vagina: three ex-Grenoble players tried for gang rape of a student
She wakes up naked with a crutch in her vagina: three ex-Grenoble players tried for gang rape of a student

Alcohol is at the center of this affair. The victim and the five defendants were all totally drunk during an evening in Bordeaux in 2017.

The case had shaken the world of rugby: the Gironde Assize Court will judge five former Grenoble players from Monday, including three for gang rape of a student, during an evening after a match in Bordeaux in 2017.

In this case where the question of consent will be at the heart of the debates, the accused assure that nothing took place under duress, but the young woman’s lawyer questions this notion in a heavily alcoholic context.

“What is consent? When is it attenuated, or even completely abolished?”asks Me Anne Cadiot-Feidt, one of the four counsel for the victim, V., now 27 years old. The latter, a recent graduate, wishes to remain anonymous, “in particular to protect its profession” and lead a personal life far from any media coverage, explains his defense.

In the middle of #MeeToo business

In the dock until June 28, five ex-Grenoble players: the Irishman Denis Coulson, 30 years old, the New Zealander Rory Grice, 34 years old, and the Frenchman Loïck Jammes, 29 years old, are accused of ‘have raped. Irishman Chris Farrell, 31, and New Zealander Dylan Hayes, 30, are appearing for failure to prevent a crime.

On March 11, 2017, a few months before the outbreak of the “#MeeToo affair” on the other side of the Atlantic, V. and two friends met the five men in a bar in Bordeaux, where the Grenoble players had played a Top 14 match the same day. The evening continued in a nightclub.

Mojitos and Vodka-Red Bull flow freely. Around 4 a.m., V. leaves in a taxi with Denis Coulson towards the players’ hotel but claims to no longer remember anything after leaving the nightclub. According to a toxicological expert, she would have had between 2.2 and 3 grams of alcohol per liter of blood at that time.

She wakes up naked with a crutch in her vagina

On CCTV footage of her arrival at the hotel, she can barely stand and is supported by Denis Coulson who appears to twice prevent her from returning to the taxi.

Around 7 a.m., the young woman said she came to her senses, naked on a bed, with a crutch in her vagina, surrounded by two naked men and others dressed. At trial, discussions will address “perhaps the notion of responsibility that a victim may have in the event that she voluntarily put herself in a state causing attenuated or even abolished consent. Can she be held responsible for the violence to which she was subjected? “asks Me Cadiot-Feidt, anticipating the defense of the accused.

“We often ask ourselves the question of the victim’s consent, and not at all the assessment of consent by the attackers”she emphasizes, evoking “robbers of the soul and the body”.

The question of consent

Based on the hearings of the accused, witnesses and a video shot by Denis Coulson during a sexual act, the investigators mention in particular several fellatios, as well as the introduction of a banana, a bottle and crutches in the young woman’s vagina.

Coulson, Jammes and Grice admitted to having had sexual relations with V. but ensured that she consented and had even taken the initiative in this hotel room in Mérignac near Bordeaux. Farrell, who owned the crutches, was in the room during the incident and Hayes witnessed the scene.

For Mr. Jammes’ lawyer, Me Denis Dreyfus, the debates will revolve around the notion of consent and its difficulty in a context “general alcoholism”. “What is certain is that it is a misfortune for everyone”he says.

It’s not the trial of rapist rugby players, it’s the trial of alcohol

“It’s not the trial of rapist rugby players, it’s the trial of alcohol”insists Me Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, lawyer for Denis Coulson, who deplores a “climate”linked to #MeToo, which “is not conducive to understanding”. “All these young people who drink until they get into impossible states, that’s the problem with this issue”she says.

Me Cadiot-Feidt, for her part, rebels against a “significant level of tolerance” regarding these matters, particularly from supporters and certain rugby clubs “which nevertheless have very clear charters”. “For many still, the woman should not go out, she should not drink, she should not put herself in that situation”she denounces.



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