BORDEAUX, France, September 22. FRENCH swimming coach Alexis Pannier was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a former swimmer, who was a minor at the time and also proved to be his step-daughter as well.
Pannier, who was the victims coach and stepfather, was convicted for repeatedly raping the French National Teamer from 2004 through 2008. She is now 22 years old. Pannier first raped the victim when she was 14 years old, and continued to rape her in various locations including the family home.
Initially, Pannier was given a one-year jail term and an acquittal at one point, but the prosecutors appealed the verdict and after a four-year legal fight have secured an eight-year sentence.
In 2008, Pannier was first arrested at in Narbonne while coaching a team that also included his son, Anthony. His son went on to make the French Olympic roster for the 2012 London Games, where he took 20th overall in the men’s 1500-meter freestyle.
The legal battle will now continue as Pannier will appeal this eight-year sentence as he continues to argue his innocence.