"13 steps of horror": Former French tennis player counted number of steps between her room and her abusive childhood coach in shocking testimony

Tennis News
Sunday, 17 September 2023 at 01:49
Former tennis player Angelique Cauchy has testified against her ex-coach and convicted child rapist Andrew Gueddes.
In 2021, the tennis coach was found guilty of sexually assaulting four teenage girls and was given an 18-year sentence. Cauchy, who is one of the survivors, has come forward to share her experiences with an inquiry body that was formed to find the "shortcomings within sports federations, the sport movement, and sports governance bodies."
Gueddes began coaching Cauchy in 1999 at the Sarcelles Tennis Club, when she was just 12 years old. 

Cauchy recalls Gueddes' abuse

Cauchy was testifying against Gueddes at the Palais Bourbon, part of the French Parliament, revealing how his repeated sexual assaults caused her to have suicidal thoughts.
"I lived the worst two weeks of my life. I thought many times about committing suicide. He raped me three times a day. The first night he asked me to go to his room and I didn't do it, then he came into mine. It was worse. I was in prison, I couldn't get out when I wanted to," she recounted.
Cauchy added that she was abused during a 15-day camp and could count the number of steps between Gueddes' room and her own, calling them the '13 steps of horror.' Moreover, she revealed that Gueddes told her he had AIDS, which led her to fear that she would contract the disease.
"I lived between 13 and 18 years old thinking I had AIDS," she continued.

Cauchy says Club President ignored complaints

Cauchy also said that the President of the Sarcelles Tennis Club knew about what Gueddes was doing but chose not to do anything about it because he brought in titles for the club.
"It was known in the tennis world that his behavior with young girls was not correct. When a woman complained to the club president, the answer was, 'Yes, but he brings us titles'," she said.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing sexual abuse you can contact the following:
In England and Wales you can contact Rape Crisis England & Wales at 0808 500 2222
In Scotland you can contact Rape Crisis Scotland at 08088 01 03 02
In Ireland and Northern Ireland, you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Center at 1800 778888.
In Jersey, you can contact Jersey Action Against Rape at 01534 482800
In the United States, you can contact RAINN at 800 656 4673 or online. 
In Australia 1800Respect can offer a confidential information, counselling and support service, and you can contact them at 1800 737 732.
In Europe, you can find details of where you can find help on the Rape Crisis Network Europe (RCNE) website.
Furthermore, if you or someone you known is experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can contact the following:
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected]. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

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