Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred has been sentenced to six years

Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred has been sentenced to six years in prison for aggravated rape in France

A rape “constantly and precisely” described: The Parisian jury said on Friday “convinced” that Moroccan star Saad Lamjarred raped and beat a young woman in a hotel room in 2016 and sentenced him to six years in prison.

• Also read: At his rape trial in Paris, Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred advertises his “respect” for women

The verdict was delivered on Friday night in the silence of a small courtroom that was nonetheless crowded, with curiosity and fans waiting in the halls of the courthouse all day.

The 37-year-old singer, who is famous throughout the Arab world and will be sleeping in prison, rose pale and without saying a word at the sentencing hearing. Civilian participant Laura P. burst into tears in her mother’s arms.

On this evening in October 2016, the President reads out Frédérique Aline, Laura P. – 20 years old, back when Saad Lamjarred was 31, she insists she “voluntarily” followed, having met the singer at a nightclub. First at a first “after”, then at her hotel, where she admitted to “flirt” and to have kissed him.

All this “without” Saad Lamjarred “being able to derive consent to sexual penetration,” the President continued.

On the witness stand, Laura P., trembling and in tears, had recounted how Saad Lamjarred “suddenly” gave her a hard nudge on the head as they kissed before straddling her, pulling on her arms and hair and performing two digital penetrations performed, vaginally and anally, and a brief penile penetration. He also hit her several times.

She managed to bite him off and left the room “in a state of shock,” the court said, referring to statements by the hotel staff.

In court, Saad Lamjarred repeatedly asserted that he had “never” penetrated Laura P. He only admitted to “violently poking her in the face” for scratching him while kissing.

In her verdict, Frédérique Aline underlines the “changeable and evolving” statements of the person who was “massively intoxicated” and under cocaine. During the course of the investigation, he explained that Laura P. was “drunk” – she doesn’t drink alcohol – and then she wanted to extort money from him, only to tell the hearing that she “must have been wrong”.

Laura P., who according to the psychiatric report is not prone to “confabulations” but shows real signs of post-traumatic syndrome, “could not confuse acts of penetration with a simple gesture to push his face back,” said the president.

She also notes that “no scratches” were found on Saad Lamjarred’s body, while Laura P. received beatings.

In his last words in court this morning, Saad Lamjarred challenged any sexual relationship “from the bottom of his heart” one last time.

A “persistence in denying the alleged facts”, which played into the choice of sentence, said the court and also mentioned “the oversized ego” and “the intolerance of sexual frustration in particular” of the singer, the psychiatric report found.

The court finally underlined the “repercussion on the victim”, reinforced by the singer’s notoriety, as she had suffered “real harassment” on social networks.

The singer, who has been closely supported by his wife since the trial began, is the target of several other rape allegations, which he consistently refused to mention at the hearing. He is accused in the Var juries of raping a young woman he met in a nightclub in Saint-Tropez in his hotel room in 2018.

“I also spoke for all the other victims, I hope it opened their eyes,” said Laura P. after the verdict, “relieved to finally have been heard.” “Yes, it’s long and it’s hard, but it’s not impossible.”

Saad Lamjarred’s lawyers, Jean-Marc Fedida and Thierry Herzog, declined to comment on the verdict and are “reflecting” before deciding on a possible appeal.