5 Cuban volleyball players convicted of rape in Finland

Five Cuban volleyball players were convicted of rape and sentenced Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • The players were arrested in July after arriving in Finland to play in the World Volleyball League
  • They were accused of sexually assaulting a Finnish woman in their hotel room

Havana, Cuba (CNN)Five Cuban volleyball players from the country's national team were convicted Tuesday of committing a rape in Finland while competing there, Cuban state media reported.

Four of the players, Rolando Cepeda Abreu, Abraham Alfonso Gavilán, Ricardo Norberto Calvo Manzano and Osmany Santiago Uriarte Mestre, were sentenced to five years in prison, the Cuban government website Cubadebate said.
    A fifth player, Luis Tomás Sierra, was sentenced to 3½ years, according to Cubadebate.
    The court also ordered the men to pay 24,000 euros in restitution to the woman they were convicted of attacking, Cubadebate said.
    The players were arrested in July in Tampere, Finland after arriving there to play in the World Volleyball League before competing in the Rio Olympics. According to Finnish and Cuban media reports, the men were accused of sexually assaulting a Finnish woman in their hotel room.
    The incident proved highly embarrassing for Cuba's government, which controls all professional athletics in the island nation and portrays Cuban athletes as examples of revolutionary discipline and virtue.
    "Preliminary information implicates them to acts totally alien to the sense of honor and respect that govern our society and sport," the Cuban Volleyball Federation said in a statement in July following the men's arrests.