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Saturday 23 August 2014

Video: Liverpool coach's son denies sexual assault

Shenai Raif and David Mercer

Published 23/01/2013 | 05:00

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THE Republic of Ireland international son of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was among four footballers who photographed themselves sexually assaulting a drunken woman, a court has heard.

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Jurors were told that Anton Rodgers (19) was among a group of Brighton footballers who wanted to have "a permanent record of their conquest".

The midfielder has represented Ireland at under-15, under-16 and under-17 levels and previously played in the Reading and Chelsea academies.

Mr Rodgers, Lewis Dunk (21), George Barker (21) and former team-mate Steve Cook (21), who now plays for Bournemouth, deny sexual assault.

The four took the 19-year-old woman to their hotel room and assaulted her after celebrating victory for their club in the Sussex Senior Cup, it was alleged at the Old Bailey in London.

Mr Rodgers, Mr Barker and Mr Dunk, with addresses in Brighton, and Mr Cook, of St Leonards-on-Sea, also deny voyeurism.

The offences were said to have happened at the Jury's Inn Hotel in Brighton in July 2011.

Richard Barton, prosecuting, said: "This case concerns how a group of young footballers, intoxicated after a night out together, took advantage of a young woman who herself was intoxicated.

"After taking her back to a hotel room, they waited until she had fallen asleep and . . . then sexually assaulted her in a deliberately humiliating way.

"They did so for their own gratification, intending to share the photographs between themselves, and they may have done so to share with others."

Taunted

He said the teenager, described as chatty and bubbly, did not tell police for six months but finally made a complaint about being "repeatedly taunted" about the incident by another footballer.

Mr Rodgers' father was in the public gallery as the case opened.

Mr Barton said the woman spent the evening at four nightclubs. At the last, Lola Lo, she met a number of footballers and one bought her a drink.

A friend of the woman did not consider her to be so drunk that she was a danger to herself.

The woman could remember waking up in a hotel room the next day in a double bed with Mr Rodgers next to her.

Mr Barton said Mr Rodgers was wearing only his pants and she did not have her bra on.

The woman had tried to ring her sister but her mobile battery was dead. Mr Barton said she asked to use Mr Rodgers' phone. He was reluctant but agreed after she was persistent.

"She saw there were photos of a young woman in a pink dress with semi-naked men around her," said Mr Barton.

"She looked at some of the many photos and realised to her horror that she recognised the unconscious woman in the pink dress was in fact herself."

Mr Barton said the woman woke Mr Rodgers up and asked him to delete the pictures, but he said: "Sorry, we are going to a barbecue."

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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