Beach volleyball star says he's sorry at child rape sentencing

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A British court sentenced Dutch volleyball champion Steven van de Velde to four years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook. The 21-year-old volleyball player confessed to three counts of rape, BBC reports.

Van de Velde met the girl on Facebook and they chatted on various social media platforms from some time. On August 2nd, 2014 he traveled from Amsterdam to England. He to the child's home while her mother was not there and had sex with her before returning to the Netherlands on a return flight he booked that morning.

The volleyball player was arrested and extradited to the United Kingdom in January.

The court believes that Van de Velde knew the girl's age, as he chatted with her on various social media platforms. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison. "You were a potential Olympian", the judge said at sentencing. "You had the possibility of a stellar future representing the Netherlands."

The lawyer defending Van de Velde told the court that he genuinely regrets what he did. "There is genuine remorse. He has lost a stellar sports career and has been branded a rapist. Plainly it is a career end for him.

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