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Austrian judoka sentenced to 5 years for sexual abuse

Published : 03 Dec 2019, 00:25

  DF-Xinhua Report

File Photo EK.

Austrian judoka and two-time Olympic champion Peter Seisenbacher was convicted to five years in prison for the sexual abuse of minors and the abuse of his authority in Vienna on Monday.

   Seisenbacher, 59, showed no reaction to the ruling of the court, although his fans and associates from the Austrian judo scene were visibly stunned by the verdict.

   In his ruling, judge Christoph Bauer explained that the witnesses for the prosecution had all made "a very credible impression".

   "We never had the impression the witnesses were lying, or that they were mistaken, or had conspired by making their statements," explained Bauer, according to Austrian broadcaster ORF online.

   Seisenbacher had fled the country before the first trial date on December 19, 2016. He was captured on the Ukrainian-Polish border earlier this year.

   The two-time Olympic champion had written Austrian sports history by winning consecutive gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles and again in Seoul in 1988.

   After ending his career in 1989, he was named head of the Austrian "Sporthilfe" fund, which supports young athletes.

   Seisenbacher was forced to resign from this post in October of 1993, after hitting a judoka from Graz during an argument at a tournament.