Entrepreneur convicted for mutilating Olympic sailor
May 5, 2007 - 5:02:44 PM

Rio de Janeiro, May 5 - The Superior Court of Justice - here convicted entrepreneur Carlos Guilherme de Abreu to three years in prison for mutilating Olympic sailor Lars Schmidt Grael.

The sentence that was delivered Friday can be replaced for community service, reported the local press.

In September 1998, De Abreu ran over Grael with his motorboat when the athlete was practicing for a contest on the seaside of Vitoria in the southeast part of the country. The entrepreneur's boat crossed the lines into the competition spot, colliding with Grael's boat.

The boat propeller dilacerated one of the sailor's legs, which had to be amputated later.

According to Grael's attorney, Jose Carlos Stein Jr., the defendant still has the right to appeal to the court once more, but he believes it is very unlikely that the decision would be changed, as the same STJ ministers would be analysing such request.

Five years after the accident, Abreu's father, the owner of the motorboat, was sentenced to pay a lifetime fine of 7,338 reals - per month to the victim, apart from indemnities that totalled to 2.48 million reals -.

Grael won two bronze medals, one in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and another in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He started sailing with his brother, Torben, a five-time Olympic medallist and winner of a gold in the 2004 Athens Games.

Following the loss of his leg, the Grael got into politics and occupied relevant government positions, such as Brazil's National Secretariat for Sports and Sao Paulo's State Secretariat for Youth, Sports and Leisure.

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