Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Four Brighton and Hove Albion Footballers in Court Over Alleged Sexual Assault on Drunk Teenager

Footballers sex attack case
(L-R) Steve Cook, George Barker, Anton Rodgers and Lewis Dunk
It was alleged that the four Brighton and Hove Albion players including the son of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, sexually assaulted a drunken 19-year-old at the Jury's Inn Hotel in Brighton, July 2011.

The alleged victim said the four sportsmen took her back to their hotel room and assaulted her after celebrating a victory for their club. She told the court today that took pictures of themselves while sexually assaulting her and she only realized it when she saw pictures on one of their phones.

The players Anton Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 21, and George Barker, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth all deny sexual assault.

Narrating her ordeal to the court, she said didn't tell the police for six months 'through fear of repercussions' but finally made a complaint after being 'repeatedly taunted' about the incident by another footballer.

Arrival: Brendan Rodgers arriving at the Old Bailey with his son Anton Rodgers, who has been accused of sexual assault along with three other footballers
Liverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers arriving at the Old Bailey with his son Anton Rodgers
According to her she was spending the evening at four nightclubs, the last being Lola Lo where she met a number of footballers out celebrating and one bought her a drink at around 12.40am. She was wearing a pink strapless dress, red heels and three pairs of underwear including knickers, swimming pants and tights.

Her last full memory was of dancing with then Brighton footballer Roland Bergkamp - nephew of former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp - after drinking a vodka shot and since that day she has had flashbacks of walking down the street with Dunk trying to feed her a chicken burger and then being in a room with Barker and Dunk grabbing her ankles, jurors heard. She woke up at 11am in a double bed at the hotel.

She said: 'I had Anton Rodgers lying here next to me and on the single bed was Ben Sampoya, my dress was pulled down to expose her breasts and her bra had been removed. I felt really drowsy, I looked to the right of me and saw lots of tissues and shaving foam.'

She asked Rodgers for his Blackberry phone so she could call her sister and then looked through his pictures without permission.

'I did look through his pictures. I felt something had happened that night, I just didn't know what,' she said. 

'First I saw a girl with blonde hair. Then I realised it was me.'

She looked through about ten full size but noticed many more stored on the phone and said she asked Rodgers to delete the pictures and told him: 'Why did you do this, I thought you were a nice guy.'

She said she was then ushered out because they had to go to a barbecue and went home to lie in bed.

Later she told her boss she had been sexually assaulted but did not say where or by who 'because of who they are - they are football players.'

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