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Argentinian woman raped and beaten by French rugby players: lawyer

Hugo Auradou <a class= sınıfında bir eğitim oturumuna katılırken görüntülendi"bağlantı " href="" veri-i13n="sn:içerik-tuval;alt sn:bağlam_bağlantısı;karaağaç:bağlam_bağlantısı" veri-ylk="slk:Arjantin;sn:içerik-tuval;altsn:bağlam_metni;elm:bağlam_bağlantısı;itc:0">Argentina</a> In June (LUIS ROBAYO)” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/″ data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/″/><button class=
Hugo Auradou was seen participating in a training session in Argentina in June (LUIS ROBAYO)

The lawyer for an Argentinian woman who accused two French rugby players of rape said her client was savagely beaten and locked in a hotel room during an incident the men claim was consensual.

The two national team players, Hugo Auradou, 20, and Oscar Jegou, 21, were awaiting transfer to Mendoza, the city where the sexual violence is alleged to have taken place, on Wednesday to be questioned by prosecutors.

The men were arrested in Buenos Aires on Monday, two days after a test match against Argentina, where the alleged victim was found to have injuries consistent with an alleged rape.

The victim’s lawyer, Natacha Romano, told local media in Mendoza that her client was allegedly “savagely beaten” during the attack, with visible injuries to her face, head, ribs and legs.

But an official told Radio Mitre: “The most serious of these crimes are sexual assault and sexual intercourse, which is the legal definition of rape in Argentina.”

The lawyer representing the players, Rafael Cuneo Libarona, arrived in Mendoza on Wednesday and said that “the sexual relationship with the two players” was “consensual.”

The attack allegedly took place on Saturday night at the Diplomatic Hotel, where French footballers and technical staff were staying while participating in a Test match in Mendoza, France, as part of their South American tour.

Libarona said the woman voluntarily accompanied one of the players to the hotel and waited for the player to get the key to his room.

“There is no greater consent than this evidence,” added Libarona, who is the brother of the country’s justice minister, Mariano Cuneo Libarona.

“There are eyewitnesses who saw him leave (the hotel), there are cameras that have taken him out, the footage does not show any injuries,” an official told reporters.

– ‘Blows to the head’ –

Police sources, who asked not to be identified, told AFP that the players met the woman at a bar after Saturday’s match and went to the hotel with her.

She claims that after having a few drinks, she became dizzy and was taken to the hotel where she was raped by Auradou and Jegou.

“The most significant blow that appears to have been to one of his eyes, a few blows to his head… The blows to his ribs are being checked for fractures,” Romano told the Mendoza Post.

He said the woman was locked in the hotel room where the alleged rape took place for four hours.

“We are talking about a woman who was brutally beaten,” Romano told El Sol newspaper.

Mendoza prosecutor Daniela Chaler told LV10 radio on Tuesday that there were “convincing elements” in the woman’s account and that her injuries were consistent with her version of events, but that they were not “necessarily specific to sexual assault.”

The incident made headlines in Argentina, with French rugby and sports officials expressing shock at the allegations but emphasising the importance of players having the opportunity to tell their side of the story.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) also said it denied that the players were subjected to any force or violence.

“If the facts are true, it is incredibly serious,” federation President Florian Grill told reporters in Argentina.

– ‘Trauma’-

After the initial questioning in Mendoza, prosecutor Cecilia Bignert will have 24 hours to decide whether to press charges against the players. The deadline could be extended by another 24 hours.

If charged, a pre-trial hearing will be held 10 days later to decide whether they will be tried in custody or released.

France coach Fabien Galthie said the news of the accusations had caused “trauma” for the squad and delegation.

Speaking to reporters in Montevideo on Tuesday, the Argentine star said France beat Uruguay in a friendly on Wednesday during their South American tour, adding: “It’s a very difficult period.”

Part of the FFR delegation remained in Argentina with the two accused football players.

Auradou and Jegou were part of the France squad that won the U-20 World Cup in South Africa last year.

The penalty for sexual assault in Argentina ranges from six to 15 years in prison, according to the penal code, but can go up to 20 years in cases of two attackers.