Achraf Hakimi charged with rape by French prosecutors
Moroccan footballer Achraf Hakimi has been indicted on rape charges, French prosecutors told AFP on Friday.
The Paris Saint-Germain defender was questioned by prosecutors on Thursday about accusations made by a 24-year-old woman, who says Hakimi raped her at his home in Paris on Saturday 25 February.
The Madrid-born player, who was a key part of Morocco’s unprecedented run to the semi-finals of the World Cup last year, allegedly paid for his accuser to travel to his home in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt while his wife and children were away on holiday.
The woman, who Hakimi had met on Instagram, went to a police station on Sunday and was questioned by prosecutors on Wednesday, sources close to the case told AFP.
According to Le Parisien, she had not wanted to file a formal legal complaint, but was simply looking “to make a statement of rape”.
The prosecutors opened an investigation anyway because of what they considered to be the serious nature of the allegations.
Hakimi trained with his PSG teammates on Friday morning. The club has not yet responded to the news that their player has been charged.
Before the charges were announced, it said in a statement: “The club supports the player, who has firmly denied the accusations and trusts the justice system. Paris Saint-Germain is an institution that promotes respect on and off the pitch.”
Hakimi’s lawyer Fanny Colin has previously said the allegations against her client were “false”.
Rachel Flore Pardo, the lawyer for the alleged victim, told AFP: “My client maintains everything that she said. She made the choice to speak exclusively to prosecutors and does not want the affair to become a media issue, mainly to protect her safety.”
Under French law, being charged does not necessarily mean the case will go to trial.