Footballer rape conviction appeal quashed

22.09.2022 - 21:23
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 Mynd: RÚV
The Landsréttur appeals court today confirmed a two-and-a-half-year sentence handed down to the footballer Andres Escobar. He played with Leiknir in the Icelandic premier division last year and has been in Iceland with a travel ban over the rape case ever since. The appeals court rejected his claim that the victim’s walk was affected by her choice of shoes rather than her state of intoxication.

In its ruling, Landsréttur concludes that Escobar took advantage of the woman’s drunk state which prevented her from fighting back. The court felt the attack was brutal and that it has had serious ongoing consequences for the woman and was a breach of her legally enshrined sexual freedom.

Escobar, who is from Colombia, was interviewed this March by a television station in his home country. In it, he said he had proof of his innocence. “I have been unfairly treated. I am innocent of the charge and want to ask for help, whether that’s from the authorities or some specialists,” he said.

Landsréttur assessed that the woman’s testimony was credible, but that Escobar’s had not been entirely consistent; particularly on the condition of the women when they met, when they were in central Reykjavík, and when they were at his home. The court noted the fact that the use of an interpreter from Spanish to Icelandic could have had an effect.

Landsréttur also concluded it was not credible that Escobar believed the woman’s walk was affected by her choice of shoes. She had been wearing flat bottomed boots and there was no indication they made it hard for her to walk.

Escobar’s case has garnered some public attention in Colombia, where online media have recounted his promising football career. At one point, he was considered one of the country’s best young players and played alongside the likes of James Rodriguez in the junior national team.

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