Coach charged with 13 rapes

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A man in his 30s has been indicted for the rapes of 13 women over a period of eight years. At least three of his alleged victims played on a top-league athletics team that he coached in Østlandet (eastern Norway).

Website VG Nett reported that the man was a basketball coach and that the women who have reported him for rape are aged 16 to 38 years. Several of the alleged rapes occurred several years ago but the women were reluctant to report them, fearing they wouldn’t be believed.

The defendant has been both a player and coach on several teams at the top levels of basketball in Norway. Because several of his alleged victims played on teams he coached, he’s also charged with exploiting his position as a coach.

Trine Rjukan, attorney for 10 of the women, told VG that after the first complaint was filed, there’s been a steady stream of other women “coming forward and telling their stories.”  She said the women have various ties to the man, some have played basketball, others on his teams and still others have met him through mutual acquaintances.

“The common thread running through the cases is his use of force and his violence,” Rjukan told VG. “And especially his lack of respect for these women.” One of the women has said she was raped by him twice.

His trial is due to start in an Oslo courtroom this fall. His defense attorney, Johnny Veum, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that his client denies the charges against him and that he’ll give his version of events in court when the trial begins in late October. staff