Two French rugby players held in Argentina accused of sexual assault to face questioning

The pair risk a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


IN ANOTHER BLOW to the reputation of the French men’s rugby team, after fullback Melvyn Jaminet made racists remarks in a video over the weekend, two members of the national team are waiting to be questioned by police in Argentina after a woman accused them of sexual assault. Hugo Auradou, 20, and Oscar Jegou, 21, were detained in Buenos Aires on Monday, two days after playing in France’s 28-13 Test victory over Argentina in the city of Mendoza, where the assault allegedly took place. The two men have said the encounter was consensual.

French rugby and sports officials have expressed shock at the allegations while stressing the importance of the players having the opportunity to tell their side of the story. The pair are to be transferred to Mendoza and appear before prosecutors who have said a medical examination had found injuries consistent with the alleged victim’s account. The men will also undergo forensic examination, sources close to the investigation told the AFP news agency.

According to local media reports, the alleged attack took place Saturday night at the Diplomatic Hotel in Mendoza, where France’s players and staff were staying for the Test match. Police sources, who asked not to be named, told AFP that according to testimony, the players met the woman at a bar after Saturday’s match, and went with her to the hotel. Prosecutors requested the immediate arrest of the players following the allegation, and their detention was announced late on Monday.