Advertisement

Two new victims come forward against Premier League footballer accused of rape

PRemier
PRemier

The Premier League footballer arrested on suspicion of multiple counts of rape is now facing accusations from two more women, according to the BBC.

The player, who has continued to feature for both his club and country since he was first detained in the summer of last year, is at the centre of allegations of rape, sexual assault or controlling behaviour that it is claimed continued while he was on bail.

The player, who has always denied any wrongdoing, had previously been facing accusations from three women. He cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Two of his five accusers have told the BBC that what allegedly happened to them could have been prevented if he had been suspended after the police began investigating claims against him or following his arrest.

One of them said he had sexually assaulted her four months after another alleged victim had written to his club, the Football Association and the Premier League about a rape complaint against him that she had reported to the police.

Another alleged victim said that, earlier this year, the player had forcibly continued sex with her by pinning her hands after she tried to push him off because she was in pain. The BBC said she had recently reported the alleged incident to the police.

‘It was clear that he thought he was that important’

The player spent more than a year on bail following his arrest in July 2022 over accusations of rape by two women between April 2021 and June 2022.

Although he was not named publicly, his arrest prompted a third woman to come forward and accuse him of sexually assaulting her in February 2022.

He was interviewed under caution over that alleged offence in February this year before being released from police bail in August pending further enquiries amid what remains an ongoing investigation.

The woman who first reported him to police over rape allegations in August 2021 told the BBC she experienced controlling behaviour by him.

She said: “It was clear that he thought he was that important, you don’t get to say ‘no’ to him.”

She said she emailed the FA, Premier League and his club the following month “in desperation”, adding: “I hoped that they would intervene in some way to prevent it from maybe happening again.”

As revealed by Telegraph Sport last year, the player allegedly went on to rape a second victim after the FA wrote back to the first complainant telling her he did not pose “a risk of harm to children or adults at risk in football”.

In an email seen by this newspaper, the FA wrote: “When considering the sensitive information that you shared, further actions were undertaken where the risk of harm to all children and all adults at risk in football was assessed.”

It went on to say that because she was an adult at the time of the alleged offence and “there is no further information to suggest that the individual poses a risk of harm to children or adults at risk in football, The FA’s Safeguarding Regulations did not have jurisdiction to proceed further in accordance with our regulations”.

It added: “This does not in any way take away from the seriousness of the concerns you have raised but from a safeguarding perspective and The FA remain fully supportive of your reporting this to the Police.”

The complainant said of the FA’s response: “They were hiding behind their lack of policies whilst knowing that the regulations they did have set up were meant to protect profits, not victims.”

The FA told the BBC it was comfortable her complaint had been dealt with appropriately.

‘What happened to me could have been prevented’

The woman accusing the player of sexual assault in February 2022 said she went to police after learning a footballer she thought might be him had been arrested and it made her less scared to come forward.

Speaking about his club and the FA’s response to the first complainant, she said: “If they had decided to take the first allegation seriously... if they had suspended him, I never would have been in that situation that I was in that day.

“Their decision caused me to suffer.”

The woman accusing the player of forcibly continuing sex with her said she had dismissed rumours of allegations against him because he had not been suspended.

“Him playing was the absolute thing that made me think they were fake and not true,” she said.

“It sent the message of, ‘We don’t believe them and we support him’.

“What happened to me could have been prevented.”

A fifth woman told the BBC the player forced himself on her at a party by pinning her to a bed and trying to pressure her into having sex, while in a room with others, in April 2021.

The corporation said it had spoken to someone else who claimed to have witnessed the alleged incident, which was not reported to the police.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.