Olympic judo champ gets 5 years for sexual assault of pupils

VIENNA (AP) — Two-time Olympic judo champion Peter Seisenbacher was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for sexually assaulting two young girls he was coaching in the early 2000s.

An Austrian regional criminal court found Seisenbacher guilty of the abuse, which took place in Vienna between 1999 and 2004. The women filed charges against their former coach in 2013.

Seisenbacher has always denied wrongdoing, claiming the women made up their stories. However, chief judge Christoph Bauer called the victims “extremely credible.”

“We didn’t get the impression that they were lying, that they were misleading us, that they were complotting,” Bauer said.

Seisenbacher’s attorney, Bernhard Lehofer, said an appeal was considered.

The 59-year-old Seisenbacher started coaching following a successful career, which included winning gold medals at two consecutive Olympics in the 1980s.

Seisenbacher was convicted of sexually assaulting one of the girls in 1999, when she was 11, and abusing her on multiple occasions until 2002. Also, he allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2004.

He was also charged with the attempted assault of a 16-year-old pupil while at a training camp in Croatia in 2001.

The trial was delayed for nearly three years after Seisenbacher fled the country and failed to show up in court in December 2016.

He was arrested in Kyiv in August 2017 but released before a probable extradition to Austria, and again arrested when he tried to cross the Ukrainian-Polish border with a fake passport three months ago.

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