Former Austrian judo champion Peter Seisenbacher released after sex abuse conviction

Former Austrian Olympic judo champion Peter Seisenbacher was released from prison on Friday after serving time for sexually abusing two girls he was coaching. Seisenbacher was conditionally released after serving more than two-thirds of his five-year sentence, Styria provincial court spokeswoman Barbara Schwarz told AFP. His lawyer, Bernhard Lehofer, confirmed the 62-year-old was released on Friday. Austrian law stipulates that a prisoner will be released after serving two-thirds of the sentence imposed – unless there are specific reasons to fear that he may commit another crime.

In 2019, an Austrian court sentenced Seisenbacher to five years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two girls from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. He abused one of the two girls as early as the age of nine and the abuse lasted several years, according to the verdict. The second daughter was 13 when the abuse began. A third woman testified that Seisenbacher attempted to sexually abuse her at a summer camp when she was 16.

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Seisenbacher, who faced a maximum sentence of 10 years, said he was innocent of the charges at the start of the trial. In 2020, Austria’s highest court dismissed his appeal. Vienna prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for him after he failed to appear for a 2016 court hearing in Vienna.

Seisenbacher was located in Ukraine in 2017 after seven months on the run and was handed over to Austria in 2019. He won middleweight gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and again in Seoul four years later .