Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred given six years for rape in Paris


A Moroccan singer widespread throughout the Arab world has been sentenced to 6 years in jail in France for rape in a high-profile case that led to backlash in opposition to the star, on-line abuse in opposition to the sufferer, and even an intervention from the Moroccan king.

Saad Lamjarred was discovered responsible Friday by a jury and three magistrates of assaulting and raping a younger lady at a luxurious lodge on the Champs-Élysées in 2016 whereas inebriated and cocaine, the Associated Press reported. He has 10 days to attraction the decision.

Lamjarred, 37, met the sufferer at a nightclub in Paris in October 2016. They went to his lodge, the place the sufferer, who was 20 on the time of the assault, mentioned she consented to kiss him however that the singer hit and raped her when she refused additional advances from him.

The court docket and the jurors discovered the sufferer had remained constant in her account statements, whereas Lamjarred’s statements had been “variable and evolving.” Lamjarred protested his innocence all through the case, telling the decide on the ultimate day of the trial: “I absolutely didn’t do what I’ve been accused of,” in response to French media.

The sufferer broke down in tears as the decision was learn out. “I spoke for me, but also for all the others,” she advised Radio France Internationale afterward. “I hope it has opened their eyes. Yes, it’s long. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s not impossible.”

Lamjarred is behind probably the most profitable trendy Arabic-language songs, “Lm3allem,” which has been seen multiple billion instances on YouTube.

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When the rape case in opposition to Lamjarred was introduced in 2016, the Moroccan king made an uncommon intervention, appointing a lawyer for Lamjarred’s protection and saying he would cowl the star’s authorized prices. News of that call has since been deleted from Moroccan state media, whereas the appointed lawyer confirmed to a Moroccan information web site in 2018 that he was now not representing Lamjarred.

Before the court docket verdict, Lamjarred was free to proceed singing overseas and featured in songs by a few of the largest names in Arabic music. However, he additionally confronted a backlash in components of the Middle East, with one in every of his deliberate performances in Cairo in 2020 canceled after an outcry on social media beneath the Arabic hashtag: “We do not want Saad Lamjarred in Egypt.”

Speak Up, an Egyptian feminist initiative that had supported the requires Lamjarred’s live shows within the nation to be canceled, described the decision as “happy news.” His sufferer, in the meantime, mentioned she had acquired dying threats and insults following the assault after her identify was leaked by a blogger.

“It has now been a year since I was physically attacked, hit, raped. For a year, I have been hiding from the media, hiding from everyone, but everyone is talking about me,” she mentioned in a video in 2017, the place she spoke publicly in regards to the case for the primary time.

“So many people were talking about me, insulting me, but nobody supported me apart from my family and friends,” she mentioned on the time. At the trial, the court docket discovered she confirmed indicators of post-traumatic stress, in response to French information studies. Lamjarred has additionally been charged with the rape of a girl in 2018 in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, though a trial date has not been set but, in response to the Associated Press.

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