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Trial opens of 6 Cuban volleyball players charged with rape

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HELSINKI (AP) Six members of Cuba's volleyball team have appeared in a Finnish regional court on charges of aggravated rape.

The trial, which began on Monday behind closed doors in the District Court of Pirkanmaa, is expected to last three days.

The men, who have been held in police custody since they were arrested last month, have denied the charges. If found guilty they face maximum eight-year prison sentences.

Eight Cuban players were initially arrested in early July following allegations that a woman was raped at a hotel where the team was staying in Tampere, 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of the capital, Helsinki. Two were later released.

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The arrests were during the Volleyball World League in the southern Finnish city.