After the Games, Featuring CANOC President Brian Lewis

Dutch beach volleyball star given four-year jail term for rape

Steven Van de Velde (right) has been given a four-year jail sentence for rape ©Getty Images

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The 21-year-old, who competed for his country at the 2015 European Games in Baku and was crowned Dutch champion with team-mate Dirk Boehlé last August, flew to Britain in 2014 from Amsterdam to have sex with a girl he knew was just 12 years old.

The Dutchman and his victim met on Facebook and began chatting via Snapchat and Skype, before the player, who had been tipped to represent his country at the Olympic Games in the future, decided to travel to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire to meet the girl when he was 19.

Having failed to book a hotel room, Van de Velde took the girl, who cannot be named under British law, to her house and took her virginity.

The following day, he advised her to take the morning after pill as they had not used contraception and when she visited the clinic, the authorities intervened due to her young age.

Van de Velde was extradited to Britain on January 8 and admitted to three counts of rape.

He appeared via video link from prison and was given four years at Aylesbury Crown Court yesterday.

When announcing a four-year sentence, Judge Francis Sheridan claimed Van de Velde’s chances of appearing at the Olympics were now a “shattered dream” and that he had a “dark side”.

“You were a hugely talented athlete who enjoyed the adulation of the crowd but you also have a dark side and it is that that brought you to court,” he said.

"Prior to coming to this country you were training as a potential Olympian.

“Your hopes of representing your country now lie as a shattered dream.

“Your actions in those two days in England have wrecked your life and you could, had you never come to England and committed these offences, have been a leader in your sport.

“A young, naive foolish young child had formed the view that you loved her.

“In reality you only knew her on the Internet, had never met her before and were fully aware of the age difference.”

Despite the incident occurring almost a full year before Baku 2015, Van de Velde was still able to play for The Netherlands at the inaugural European Games.

The NOC*NSF refused to say whether they would issue a ban on the athlete and instead shifted the issue onto the Dutch Volleyball Federation.

“The Dutch NOC considers these kind of issues as the responsibility of our national sports federations,” a spokesperson told insidethegames.

According to legislation in his native The Netherlands, sexual penetration of anyone under the age of 12 is classed as rape, though anyone over that age is legally allowed to consent.

Sex with anyone below 16 outside marriage is also considered rape according to the law.

The Dutch Volleyball Federation have failed to respond to several attempts at contact from insidethegames.

Source

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