France players Ribery, Benzema sex trial adjourned

Reuters, Friday 24 Jan 2014

Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema
Franck Ribery, left, and Karim Benzema (Photo: AP)

France forwards Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema will know whether they are cleared of soliciting an underage prostitute next Thursday after the Correctional Court of Paris adjourned the case for further deliberations.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Jean-Julien Xavier-Rolai asked that the two footballers be discharged of solicitation of an underage prostitute.

"It is impossible for the accusation to prove Franck Ribery was aware" that Zahia Dehar, a prostitute-turned-fashion model, was under 18, Xavier-Rolai told the court before adding that Benzema should also be discharged.

Real Madrid striker Benzema and Bayern Munich playmaker Ribery, who were not attending the four-day trial, were being tried on charges of paying Dehar when she was aged 16 and 17.

Ribery has admitted paying her for sex but said he did not know how old she was. Benzema has denied having any sexual relations with Dehar.

Paying for sex is not illegal in France but underage prostitution is.

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