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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Football

Ribery had 'no idea' call girl was 'under age,' claims lawyer
ANI
London, June 19, 2013
First Published: 11:48 IST(19/6/2013)
Last Updated: 11:52 IST(19/6/2013)

One of the two footballers accused of having sex with a teenaged prostitute had 'no idea' that she was under age, according to his lawyer.

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema are on trial and could face up to three years' jail if they are convicted of bedding call girl Zahia Dehar between 2008 and 2009 when she was aged from 16 to 17, the Mirror reports.

At the opening of the Paris trial, Ribery's lawyer Carlo-Alberto Bruso said that there was nothing about Dehar that suggested that she was a vulnerable person, adding that his client was mistaken as Dehar is a woman who is always made-up, with her hair done and well dressed.

According to Bruso, under age sex laws were too 'imprecise' to prosecute the players, although the report added that the even though the age of consent in France is 15, and prostitution is legal, but only if both parties are over 18.

Benzema has also denied having any sexual relationship with Dehar who exposed him to police investigating a Paris vice ring.

However, court documents have claimed that the married Ribery had paid Dehar 600 pounds for sex at a hotel in 2009 and that Benzema is suspected of paying her 400 pounds for sex in 2008.

The trial was adjourned until January to enable the law on underage prostitution to be reviewed.

Dehar, now 21 years old, is currently a celebrity in France, having appeared on numerous reality TV shows and started her own lingerie range, the report added.


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