A FOOTBALL coach in Spain has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for abusing eight children.

The Supreme Court in Aragon has confirmed the original verdict from the court in Zaragoza that sentenced the 41-year-old to prison for eight counts of sexual abuse.

The defendant, Antonio M.R., challenged the ruling, alleging that there was an error in the assessment of the evidence.

The events occurred in 2019 when the defendant was assistant coach for a football team at Helios swimming club in Zaragoza.

He was found guilty of sexually touching eight children between the ages of 11 and 12, using the excuse that he was the physiotherapist and had to check on their physical condition.

The first occasion was on January 25 of last year, when he took advantage of the fact that a boy had arrived to training early and got him to lie down on a table and started touching him.

The same thing occurred a week later but this time with seven other players, claiming he had to take records of their physical conditions, taking them into the locker room one by one and touching them with the door closed.

Some only had to take off their tops, but others were left in just their underwear or nothing at all.

He also made ‘foul and inappropriate comments’, explaining how to put on a condom, how to have sex and demonstrated how to masturbate. 

The children told their parents what had happened, who in turn informed the team, which immediately dismissed the accused.

The Zaragoza court ruled that the witnesses’ testimony was ‘totally credible’ and that the coach had ‘a plan to gain the trust of the minors’ so that he could conduct one-to-one massages.

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