French politicians and athletes have expressed outrage over the acquittal of a judo coach accused of domestic violence against Olympic judo champion Margaux Pinot, CBS News partner network BBC News reports.
Pinot, a 27-year-old judoka who won a gold medal at the, told the police early Sunday that her partner and judo trainer Alain Schmitt, 38, attacked her at her home, verbally abused her, wrestled her to the ground, punched her, tried to strangle her and smashed her head against the ground multiple times, according to The Guardian newspaper. She said she managed to escape him by hiding at a neighbor's apartment, where she called the police.
Schmitt denied the allegations and said the two had had a fight, started by Pinot, The Guardian said.
At a hearing on Tuesday, a judge ruled there was "not enough proof of guilt" for the domestic violence case to proceed, the BBC reported.
"A court is never there to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying," the judge said.
In response, Pinot shared an image of her battered face on Twitter along with the caption, written in French: "What was missing? My death at the end, perhaps? It's probably judo that saved me and my thoughts go out to other women who cannot say the same."
After the ruling, Schmitt, who had a black eye, gave a press conference where he said Pinot had punched him, pushed him and made him fall on her, The Guardian reported. He said he felt like he had been put on trial by social media. His lawyers accused Pinot of having "behavioral problems."
Pinot said Schmitt was trying to make her seem like an "hysterical woman," The Guardian said.
France's sports minister, Roxana Mărăcineanu, voiced her support for Pinot, saying she believed she was "clearly the victim in what has happened," and the French judo federation said it was shocked by her injuries. Two presidential candidates, including the current mayor of Paris, also voiced their support for Pinot, The Guardian reported.
Some judo athletes also shared messages of support for Pinot. Three-time Olympic champion Teddy Riner tweeted: "What must be done to ensure that victims are heard? That the perpetrators be found guilty."
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