Yannick Agnel Admits To Sex With Minor, Denies Coercion In Rape Case

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Yannick Agnel has admitted to having sex with a minor but denied coercion, a public prosecutor said on Monday.

Agnel was arrested on Thursday at his home in Paris on suspicion of rape and sexual assault and placed in police custody in Mulhouse.

On Saturday, he was indicted for rape and sexual assault of a minor and released from police custody.

At a public press conference on Monday, Mulhouse public prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said that Agnel “recognizes the substance of the allegations against him,” and added that the 29-year-old did not “sense there was coercion.”

Roux-Morizot also said that prosecutors believe that the age difference between Agnel and the girl, 13 at the time, is sufficient to show that there was coercion.

“When there is a ten-year age difference, this is considered by the law to be a case of constraint,” Roux-Morizot said.

Roux-Morizot also said the events took place in 2016 in several locations, including Spain, Thailand and Brazil.

The plaintiff is reportedly the daughter of one of Agnel’s coaches from the Mulhouse Olympic Swimming Club.

The investigation was prompted after the swimmer filed a complaint against Agnel, claiming he had sexual interactions with her when she was 13 and he was 24.

French law dictates that an adult cannot have consensual sex with somebody under the age of 15. Earlier this year, the French parliament adopted legislation that characterizes sex with a child under the age of 15 as rape and punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

You can see the prosecutor speak (in French), below:

Agnel, now 29, claimed two gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, winning the men’s 200 freestyle and anchoring the French men’s 400 freestyle relay. He also swam the fourth leg on their silver medal-winning 800 free relay, and was a double gold medalist at the 2013 World Championships in the 200 free and 400 free relay.

Agnel is currently the world record holder in the men’s 400 freestyle in short course meters (3:32.25), and owns the fastest time ever recorded in a textile suit in the LCM 200 free from those 2012 Games (1:43.14).

Since retiring from the sport in 2016, Agnel has made some media appearances on French television and did coverage for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. He was also writing a column and participating in a podcast on the topic of E-Sports, but has been suspended from that role pending outcome of these proceedings.

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MIKE IN DALLAS
1 month ago

Well, I think things just got very ugly and tawdry for Agnel.
This is NOT going to end well for him, I assume.
A difference of 10 years and she was 13 – that is simply wrong.

Khachaturian
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
1 month ago

it’s… really disappointing and sad.

Jackman
1 month ago

A 13yr old child and 24yr old adult is textbook coercion, this seems to be a very clear case of SA with no possible case to be made for consent.

swimapologist
Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

Unfortunately, for better or worse, you’re applying the standard of American law. French law is changing and improving on this, but for now, based on the law in place at the time, it is not so.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

A very good point. There’s a big difference in how the US and France views sexual matters, both legally and culturally. I’m especially interested to see if other adults who knew about the molestation at the time will face any consequences.
Can you imagine a sports hero in today’s US saying anything like, “Well she wanted it too. I didn’t force her.” as a kind of explanatoin or justification for similar behavior?

Last edited 1 month ago by BearlyBreathing
BadShoulder
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Yes. Yes, I can imagine it.

Chlorinetherapy
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

“Improving”???? Would law allowing what has allegedly occurred be seen as an improvement? Improvement for who? Maybe for predators but certainly not for vulnerable young people.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
1 month ago

Reading comprehension is severely underrated eh?

Laurent LANDREAU
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

The french law is very clear: sex with a minor under 15 is considered sexual assault or rape and can lead to 20 yrs in jail. He will go to jail for sure

Dee
1 month ago

A 24yo can not have sex with a 13yo without coercion being present. This is predatory behaviour, no 24yo of sound mind and morals would see a 13yo as anything other than a child. Disgusting behaviour and he deserves whatever comes his way.

Anonymous
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

The child of a coach….what the heck was the coach doing that they did not grasp that something was happening. So the coach brought their 13 year old daughter to all of these locations with the athletes? For her, at 13, it’s probably hero worship. For him, what the heck was he thinking????

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

I hope it wasn’t the case where the coach knew and turned a blind eye because that would be horrifying.

anonymous
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

The prosecutor said that is not the case.

Anonymoose
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Oh it must be absolutely true then yay 🤗

anonymous
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

My understanding is that she was a swimmer on the team and Agnel was living with the family for a time.

Anonymous
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

This seems like the most common situation for how the predator – prey interactions occur. Despicable for many.

bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

This is seriously disappointing. I wish the victim the best and hope she can come out of this as best as she can.

The condors were robbed
1 month ago

OMG

The condors were robbed
Reply to  The condors were robbed
1 month ago

I’m shocked

Steve Nolan
1 month ago

It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.

(*As a legal strategy, it’s obviously reprehensible whether he confesses to it or not.)

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

I can’t get over it.

“Why yes, I brought a gun into that bank and said ‘give me all the money’ to a teller and left with a million dollars they gave me…but I never mentioned the gun at all!”

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Nolan
hafl1
1 month ago

WtH!

monsterbasher
1 month ago

Please swimming fans. Don’t make any excuses for Agnel (as I saw in the other articles posted). Yes he did achieve a lot in his swimming tenure, but what he did was incredibly deplorable and inhumane, and he should be condemned as such.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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