Olympic swimming champion Agnel denies coercion in rape case

The prosecutor in the rape case of two-time Olympic swimming champion Yannick Agnel says the Frenchman has admitted to having a relationship with an underage girl but denied coercion

PARIS -- Two-time Olympic swimming champion Yannick Agnel has admitted to having a relationship with an underage girl but denied coercion, the prosecutor in the Frenchman’s rape case said Monday.

Prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said Agnel “recognizes the materiality of the alleged facts” but she said he did not have “the feeling that there was coercion.”

Agnel was 24 when the alleged rape took place. The girl was reportedly 13.

Agnel was arrested in Paris last week. On Saturday, he was handed preliminary charges and the case was sent to Mulhouse, eastern France.

Roux-Morizot also said the events took place in 2016 in several locations, including Spain, Thailand and Brazil.

In France, an adult cannot have consensual sex with somebody under 15 years old. Earlier this year, the French parliament adopted legislation that characterises sex with a child under the age of 15 as rape and punishable by up to 20 years in jail, bringing its penal code closer in line with many other western nations.

Agnel won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, in the 200-meter freestyle and the 4x100 free relay. He retired in 2016.

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