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Three Grenoble players charged with gang rape

AFP logoAFP 12/04/2017

Grenoble's Rory Grice -- seen here running with the ball during a 2016 French league match against Montpellier -- has been been charged with gang rape © Provided by AFP Grenoble's Rory Grice -- seen here running with the ball during a 2016 French league match against Montpellier -- has been been charged with gang rape Three Grenoble players -- Ireland's Denis Coulson, Rory Grice of New Zealand and France's Loick Jammes -- have been charged with gang rape, prosecutors in Bordeaux announced on Wednesday.

Coulson, 22, Grice, 27, and Jammes, 22, are accused of gang raping a 21-year-old woman in a hotel after she met them at a nightclub in Bordeaux following their Top 14 defeat by Bordeaux-Begles on March 11.

Under the terms of their judicial supervision they are forbidden from making contact with their accuser and of leaving France, and must report to a police station.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that there was "serious or consistent evidence against them which makes their participation likely, as perpetrators or accomplices, in the offence of which they have been accused."

They face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if found guilty.

Jammes' lawyer, Berard Boulloud, said the charge would allow "access to the case file to put forward a real defence for our respective clients, respecting the presumption of innocence".

Ireland's Denis Coulson -- seen here holding the ball during a 2015 French league match against Racing Metro 92 -- is one of three Grenoble players who have been charged with gang rape © Provided by AFP Ireland's Denis Coulson -- seen here holding the ball during a 2015 French league match against Racing Metro 92 -- is one of three Grenoble players who have been charged with gang rape

The players were detained on Tuesday by police in Bordeaux after an initial round of questioning by officers in Grenoble on March 22.

Two of their teammates -- 24-year-old Irishman Chris Farrell and Dylan Hayes, 23, from New Zealand -- were also interviewed by police on Tuesday but were not charged.

A sixth Grenoble player, Australian lock Peter Kimlin, 31, was questioned last month, but was not among the group interviewed again on Tuesday.

The alleged victim told police she met the players in a nightclub and then went back to their hotel in Merignac, near Bordeaux.

Grenoble's Loick Jammes -- holding the ball during a French league match against Bordeaux-Bègles -- is one of three grenoble players charged with gang rape © Provided by AFP Grenoble's Loick Jammes -- holding the ball during a French league match against Bordeaux-Bègles -- is one of three grenoble players charged with gang rape

Grenoble initially suspended the six players on March 17, lifting the suspensions 12 days later.

However the French Top 14 club insisted they reserved the right to take further measures should new information surface in the investigation.

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