French tennis player’s ex-coach charged with rape and sexual assault

French tennis player’s ex-coach charged with rape and sexual assault

Fiona Ferro hits a return against Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 17, 2022. — AFP pic

Thursday, 01 Sep 2022 5:34 AM MYT

NICE, Sept 1 — The former coach of French tennis player Fiona Ferro has been charged with raping and sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager, judicial sources confirmed on Wednesday.

Ferro, 25, has accused 50-year-old Pierre Bouteyre of rape and sexual assault between 2012 to 2015, her lawyer Isabelle Colombani told AFP.

Bouteyre was Ferro’s private coach and accompanied her during tournaments which often took place abroad, her lawyer said.

Bouteyre has been charged with “rape of a minor by a person having authority over the victim” and “sexual assault of a minor over the age of 15 by a person having authority over the victim”, prosecutor Patrice Camberou told AFP.

Bouteyre, who was also the coach of French tennis player Alize Cornet, “recognises the relationship occurred but denies any coercion, it was a love story according to him”, his lawyer Virginie Pin told AFP.

Belgian-born Ferro has won two WTA titles and reached a career-high ranking of 39th in March 2021, but has now slipped to 259th. — AFP