Gilles Beyer Assault Charge: Facts And Photos

Gilles Beyer, a French skating coach, has been charged with sexually assaulting figure skaters. Champion figure skater Sarah Abitbol was the first to accuse Beyer, detailing the alleged assault in her book.

Arrest and Charges

Beyer Charged With Assault. “Beyer was taken into police custody on Wednesday morning but released Friday when he was charged by the Paris public prosecutor’s office with “sexual assault by a person in authority and sexual harassment by a person in authority”. Contacted by AFP on Friday, Beyer’s lawyer, Thibault de Montbrial, refused to comment.” [France 24]

Beyer Is A Former Professional Skater And Coach. “Beyer competed at three European Championships and three World Championships. In the 1977–78 season, he won the French national title and finished within the top ten at the 1978 European Championships in Strasbourg. After retiring from competition, Beyer focused on coaching. His students included: Laëtitia Hubert, Laurent Tobel, Sarah Abitbol. He is the former general manager of the figure skating division of Français Volants in Paris. In January 2020, Français Volants announced Beyer’s immediate removal from any role at the club. From 2014 to 2018, Beyer was a member of the executive bureau at the French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG).” [Wikipedia]

Sarah Abitbol Allegations

Skater Sarah Abitbol Made First Accusations Against Beyer. “Abitbol accused Beyer, her coach, of repeatedly sexually assaulting her when she was aged between 15 and 17 in the early 1990s. Her book led to several other skaters coming forward. In a statement to AFP in January last year, Beyer admitted having an “intimate relationship” with Abitbol, which he said was “inappropriate”. He offered his “apologies”.” [Yahoo]

Abitbol Is A Champion Figure Skater. “Ms Abitbol and her skating partner, Stéphane Bernadis, are 10-time French national champions, and have won seven European medals. At the 2000 World Championships, the two became the first French pair to win a world medal in nearly 70 years. But in her book, Such a Long Silence, Ms Abitbol alleged that she was raped by Mr Beyer between 1990 and 1992.” [BBC]

Cover-Up Allegations

At Least 20 French Skating Coaches Are Connected To Assault. “After conducting hearings and analyzing athletes’ testimonies on a dedicated platform set up by the ministry, the probe found out 12 coaches have been accused of harassment or sexual assault, including three who were sentenced to prison terms. In addition, seven cases of physical or verbal violence were reported, while two other cases related to trainers who died before the end of judicial proceedings.” [AP]

Skating Federation Head Didier Gailhaguet Was Accused Of Covering Up For Beyer. “The skating federation’s president Didier Gailhaguet, who denied protecting the coach and said he’s not at fault, faced mounting pressure to step down from France’s current sports minister Roxana Maracineanu and others asking him to resign. He finally did so Saturday following a special meeting at the federation. “Didier Gailhaguet’s resignation was necessary, but it’s only a first step,” Abitbol told French magazine L’Obs. “The whole of the federation where he has his friends must be cleaned up. Those who kept quiet, and supported the system (in place), are still there.”” [AP]

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