Horse racing: Top jockey charged with rape

Pierre-Charles Boudot
Pierre-Charles Boudot Image Credit: AFP

French champion jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has been charged with the rape of a female rider at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, prosecutors in Senlis announced.

Boudot, who won the 2019 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is accused of raping the plaintiff on the night of February 17 on France’s Cote d’Azur. He denies the charge.

On Saturday, Boudot was suspended for three months pending the investigation.

“My client, a 25-year-old woman from Chantilly’s racing community, was at a party,” lawyer Justine Devred said. “It’s highly likely she was made to drink or administered substances to make her incapable of consent. She has flashes, long periods, moments when her body was no longer responding.”

A second jockey has been charged with failure to report a crime in connection with the case.

Although the alleged assault took place at the racing centre of Cagnes-Sur-Mer near Nice the case was moved to Senlis near France’s flat racing headquarters Chantilly where Boudot lives.

Under the terms of his 50,000 euro bail Boudot is banned from entering Chantilly’s Oise region.

Boudot’s lawyer Florence Gaudilliere said the jockey “categorically denies” the charge.

The 28-year-old, French champion in 2015, 2016 and 2020, is also being investigated for a second charge of rape, which he also denies, dating back to 2015.

In this case he has been named as an assisted-witness, Jean-Baptiste Bladier, the prosecutor at Senlis north of Paris announced.

As in the February case the plaintiff says she was drugged before being sexually assaulted.

Gaudilliere said her client had made a counter claim in the belief that “this latest accusation has been made to back up the first one”.

Boudot was questioned and detained on Monday, with a confrontation with his accused taking place on Tuesday.

The plaintiff’s lawyer Devred said: “There are very clear signs pointing to Mr Boudot’s guilt. I have no doubts about the charge. There was already a first victim, now there is a second. There was the same way of operating, similar context, pretty girls, black holes, flashes, very different from what they could experience in parties where there is alcohol,” she added.

According to Devred, Boudot said his relationship with her client had been “completely consensual”.

One of Europe’s top jockeys Boudot won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2019 on the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist, denying Enable a historic third win in the Longchamp feature.

He enjoyed a stellar 2020 season, his major wins including the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and two Breeders Cup races, as well as ending the year with his third ‘Cravache d’Or’ title as champion jockey.

French racing’s rulers France Galop said they would seek to become a civil party to the case in order to gain access to the file in their role as protectors of the sport’s image.