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Brighton and Hove Albion footballers 'took photos in sex attack'
Four Brighton and Hove Albion players sexually abused an unconscious teenager and sent pictures to fellow footballers and staff at the club, a court was told.
A jury at the Old Bailey was told Anton Rodgers, Lewis Dunk and George Barker along with former Seagull Steve Cook, who now plays for AFC Bournemouth, performed degrading sex acts on the 19-year-old and took photographs as trophies.
The footballers had been drunk on a night out celebrating the opening of American Express Community Stadium.
The young woman said she was initially scared to tell police what had happened to her but within a few months “everyone” at the football club had seen the compromising pictures of her being sexually assaulted and she felt ashamed and angry.
The jury was told that another Albion player told her: “You should be proud because you're kind of famous because of who those players are.”
Rodgers, 19, Barker, 21, Dunk, 21, and Cook, 21, all deny sexual assault and voyeurism.
Richard Barton, prosecuting, told the court: “A group of young professional footballers, intoxi cated after a night out together celebrating a cup final victory, took advantage of a young woman, who by her own level of intoxication was obviously in a vulnerable condition.
“After taking her back to a hotel room they waited until she had fallen asleep, and so was unable to resist, and then sexually assaulted her in a deliberately humiliating way.
“They compounded that humiliation by taking photographs of themselves doing so in order to have a permanent record of their conquest.
“These were the actions of a group of arrogant young men labouring under the misguided belief that by reason of their privileged position they could with impunity take advantage of a young woman in this way, because even if she realised what they had done to her she would not dare report it.”
The then 19-year-old had been on a night out in Brighton city centre when she met several Albion players at Lola Lo bar in East Street on July 16 2011.
The next thing she remembered was waking up the following morning in a hotel room at the Jury's Inn in Stroudley Road.
Anton Rodgers was asleep in his underwear next to her. Another Albion player, Ben Sampayo, was asleep on another bed in the room.
When she tried to use the phone she found dozens of pictures showing herself in various states of undress and being sexually assaulted by Rodgers, Dunk, Barker and Cook.
Mr Barton said: "These defendants would have got away with their criminal misconduct had it not been for the equally dismal misconduct of a fellow Albion player.
"Those photos and a video were being passed amongst players and staff at the club.
"He said he would take them and put them on the internet so everyone could see them.”
The trial continues.