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Saïd Chabane, the former president of the Angers football club, sentenced to two years in prison, one of which was suspended, for sexual assault

The former president and current owner of the Angers football club (Ligue 2), Saïd Chabane, was sentenced, Friday March 22, by the city’s criminal court to two years in prison, one of which was suspended, for assault sexual.

Mr. Chabane, who was not present during the deliberations, was found guilty of the facts denounced by six women and acquitted “for the benefit of the doubt » in a seventh file. Saïd Chabane’s lawyers immediately announced they would appeal the conviction.

“We welcome this decision with some relief since Mr. Chabane has been declared partially innocent of what he has been accused of for several years. Obviously, we do not agree with [le reste] of the decision and will appeal (…) so that Mr. Chabane can be completely exonerated”declared his lawyer Pascal Rouiller to the press.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers Prison sentence required against Saïd Chabane, the ex-president of the Angers football club tried for sexual assault

“Intolerable gestures”

During the trial in December, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence Mr. Chabane to three years in prison, one of which was suspended, mentioning during his requisitions the “intolerable gestures” described by the civil parties.

On the stand, former employees of Angers SCO and Saïd Chabane’s charcuterie company had taken turns recounting forced hugs and touching of the buttocks and chest.

“It is a decision without surprise for the civil parties, in line with what was said at the hearing. The important thing for the complainants is that the truth is told and recognized”Céline Tavenard, lawyer for the civil party, told Agence France-Presse.

The first complaint was filed in January 2020 by an employee of Angers SCO. She denounced events that occurred a few weeks earlier, during a trip to Madrid in which several employees participated. Following this filing of the complaint, “I was told that I was corrupt, a liar, that I was looking for light”she told the bar.

Six other complaints were subsequently filed, for facts spanning from 2014 to 2019. At the hearing, the president of the court, Catherine Ménardais, mentioned “facts which, when confronted, are strangely similar, including between victims who do not know each other”.

Tried for sexual assault “committed by a person abusing the authority conferred on him by his position”Saïd Chabane, 59 years old, denied all of the charges against him during the trial.

On the first day of his trial, in front of the court, he said to himself ” sentenced “ since his indictment in February 2020, denouncing a “presumption of innocence become insignificant”. His lawyers had pleaded for acquittal. “If you tell a lie to several people, does it become the truth? This scares me. We are on legal ground. I reject any declarative guilt”he said during his pleading.

Business succession

Owner of the club since 2011, Saïd Chabane described himself during the hearing as a man “started from scratch”boss “directive” And ” demanding “ but who has never maintained a relationship of “domination” with its employees.

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Saïd Chabane was one of the main players in the spectacular sporting recovery of Angers SCO, including a return to Ligue 1 in 2015. The club was subsequently relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the 2022-2023 season. .

Entangled in a succession of businesses and a catastrophic sporting situation, Saïd Chabane gave up his place as president of the club to his son Romain in March 2023.

He will be tried in a completely different case from Monday before the Bobigny criminal court, for illegal exercise of the activity of sports agent and money laundering in an organized gang, alongside four other people. All dispute the facts with which they are accused.

Read our survey (2019): Article reserved for our subscribers Ligue 1: ball and reason, the Saïd Chabane recipe at SCO Angers

The World with AFP

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