Olympic judo champ charged with sexual assault of pupils
VIENNA (AP) — Two-time Olympic judo champion Peter Seisenbacher of Austria has been charged with sexual assaulting two young girls he was coaching in Vienna in the early 2000s.
Vienna’s state prosecution service said on Wednesday that the alleged abuse took place between 1999 and 2004, when the two girls were still under 14. It said the women filed charges against their former coach in 2013.
If found guilty, the 56-year-old Seisenbacher could face a prison term of up to 10 years.
His lawyer, Bernhard Lehofer, told the Austria Press Agency that “Mr. Seisenbacher is aware” of the charges but will not comment on them as “we won’t start a media circus.”
Seisenberger is alleged to have sexually assaulted one of the girls in 1999, when she was 11, and then abused her on multiple occasions until 2002. Also, he allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2004.
Additionally, he has been charged with the attempted assault of a 16-year-old pupil while at a training camp in Croatia in 2001.
Seisenbacher became the first judoka to win gold at two consecutive Olympics, in 1984 in Los Angeles and four years later in Seoul. He is currently head coach of the Azerbaijan team, which he led to two silver medals at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Earlier, he was head coach of the Georgia team when Lasha Shavdatuashvili won gold in the men’s 66-kilogram division at the 2012 London Olympics.