Former French swimming champion on trial for child sex abuse

Former French swimming champion on trial for child sex abuse
Lawyers for alleged victims of Vincent Leroyer, from the left, Come Lionnard, Pascale Badina, and Marie-Anne Raymond gather at the opening Monday Jan.21, 2019 in Bordeaux, southwestern France. Lionnard is on trial in southwest France for the alleged rape and sexual abuse of young boys and adolescents when he ran an ice hockey club in the 1980s and 1990s. (AP Photo/John Leicester)

BORDEAUX, France (AP) — A former French swimming champion is on trial in southwest France for the alleged rape and sexual abuse of young boys and adolescents during the decade he ran an ice hockey club in northern France.

Vincent Leroyer told a jury as his three-day trial got underway in Bordeaux on Monday he acknowledged “nearly all” of the accusations against him except for the allegation he raped a boy.

Leroyer is accused of sexually abusing five boys ages 6 – 14 and raped one of them when he managed the ice hockey club in Rouen from 1986 to 1996.

Leroyer was a French national backstroke champion during the 1970s but an injury kept him out of the 1978 world championships. He later worked for French swimming apparel maker Arena.