15 years jail time for coach who abused students in Spain’s Castellón

A FORMER gymnastics coach has been sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison for abusing his students. 

Carlos Franch Calpe, a former Betxí municipal sports center employee has had his sentence confirmed by the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) for the sexual, emotional and physical abuse of three of his students, aged between 9 and 14 years old at the time of the offences.

The abuse for which he was convicted took place between 2000 and 2017. 

The court heard that Franch had been a strict disciplinarian who treated his students “in a harsh and demanding manner, pushing the minors to the limit”. He was known for verbally abusing his students and forcing them to repeat harsh physical exercises. He would throw objects and punch walls when the gymnasts did not train properly. 

Franch took advantage of his position to subject the underage gymnasts to sexual touching. In court many witnesses described the sexual massages carried out by the former coach. 

The court heard that he would: “sometimes massage students who had pain, or minor injuries and other times without any justified reason”. 

Ayuntamiento Betxí
PHOTO: Ayuntamiento Betxí

Incidents involving two other minors, dating from the 1990s, were thrown out as a result of the amount of time that had passed. Prosecutor’s claimed that Franch had been sexually abusing his students since 1987.  

The convicted man was a former employee of Betxí City Council, and the authority has been ordered to pay a total of €16,000 euros to the victims in compensation. 

In addition to the jail sentence, Franch must also serve a probation period of five years following his release from jail, and he will have a restraining order banning him from communicating with his victims.

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