Finnish court lowers sentences of Cuban athletes in rape case

Four Cuban volleyball players sentenced last year in Finland on charges of raping a Finnish woman had their sentences reduced and a fifth one had his charges dismissed by an appeals court, the Finnish media reported.

[For background in Progreso Weekly click here, and here, and here, and here, and here.]

The original sentences were imposed by a District Court in the city of Tampere on Sept. 20, 2016; the reductions were made by an appeals court in the city of Turku on Thursday (June 29). Following are the Turku rulings:

Osmany Santiago Uriarte Mestre (age 22) and Ricardo Norberto Calvo Manzano (21) were found by the court of appeals to have committed gross and violent rape “in a particularly humiliating manner.” However, Uriarte’s sentence was reduced from 5 to 4 years and Calvo’s from 5 years to 3 years and a half.

Abrahán Alfonso Gavilán (22) was found to have committed rape under pressure from his companions and had his sentence reduced from 5 years to 15 months. Because of “time served” (Gavilán was arrested on July 3, 2016), he will be released soon by the authorities.

Rolando Cepeda Abreu (28), the team captain, had his sentence reduced from 5 years to 2 years and a half.

Luis Sosa Sierra (22) had his charges dropped because of inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony. Also, there was no DNA evidence that would support the charges against him. The court ordered that he be released at once and deported back to Cuba. Originally, he had been sentenced to 3 and a half years.

• A sixth defendant, Dariel Albo Miranda (25) was acquitted last year by the District Court after the victim and his teammates stated that he had not participated in the sexual acts.

[Picture at top shows the appeals court in Turku, Finland, that reviewed the cases of the Cuban volleyball players.]

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