NewsSoccer star Boateng convicted of assault

Soccer star Boateng convicted of assault

Jérôme Boateng’s ex-girlfriend accuses the former soccer world champion of attacking her violently while on vacation in the Caribbean. He denies it. But the court doesn’t believe him.

[Munich -] Jérôme Boateng looks carefully at his former partner. Again and again he shakes his head and whispers something to his lawyer.

What the 31-year-old said on Thursday in front of the Munich District Court does not at all fit the image that the public had for years of the world-class central defender, of the idol and soccer world champion of 2014. Because the image that she had draws in court is that of a violent criminal.

“He grabbed my eye with his thumb,” said the woman in court. There she appears as a joint plaintiff. “He tore my hair, then bit me in the head.” He spat on her – with blood because he had torn his lip open beforehand. Possibly while biting, she says. She then fell on her knees before he “punched her in the kidney” so hard that she could no longer breathe.

The incident in the Caribbean vacation paradise of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2018 was not the first incident of its kind, says the woman. But the most violent.

And Boateng has now been convicted for him: The Munich District Court imposed a fine of 60 daily rates of 30,000 euros for willful bodily harm and insult. A daily rate cannot be higher. In total, Boateng will have to pay 1.8 million euros if the judgment becomes final. The court had only set one day for the trial.

This Thursday there are different versions of what is said to have happened that day in the Caribbean. The prosecution and ex-girlfriend in the secondary lawsuit goes like this: Boateng is said to have thrown a glass lantern and a cooler bag at her “in full force”, according to public prosecutor Stefanie Eckert. She demanded a suspended sentence of one and a half years – and a payment of 1.5 million euros to charitable organizations. In her calculation, she assumed that Boateng earned 33,000 euros a day at FC Bayern and now at Olympique Lyon at least 20,000 euros.

Boateng also admits in court that there was an escalation in the Caribbean luxury resort with a private pool and employees. But he tells a completely different version: his former partner had become aggressive and insulting, injured his lip in an argument and hit him. When he tried to push her away from him, she fell. He didn’t throw a lantern at her either, but a pillow against a table – and the lantern fell to the floor. He emphasizes that he has never beaten his ex-girlfriend. He must be “absolutely acquitted”, demanded his defense lawyer Kai Walden in his closing argument.

On the basis of documented bruises, however, a medical expert considers her version to be more likely – and not Boateng’s.

And the young woman, who was friends with the two of them on vacation and at the time with the alleged victim, claims to have seen something different: Boateng “started beating her – with his fists”. She then ran off and got a friend of the soccer player to intervene. She herself was afraid of Boateng, “afraid of maybe getting something too”. “He’s just a great man.”

Boateng, who recently signed a contract in Lyon, tells of a vacation that had been very nice and peaceful until that evening. “It was a good mood,” he said – until there was an argument while playing cards in the evening because his partner at the time and her girlfriend accused him of cheating. Shortly afterwards, the mood escalated.

It was then about loyalty in the dispute, about other, former partners. “Jealousy film,” says the partner at some point in her statement. Her and Boateng’s testimony are bursting with strong expressions that are said to have been used on July 19 in the holiday paradise. Between outbursts of anger, Boateng ran back and forth in his bungalow, she says – “like a tiger”.

According to their information, the two have had an “on-off relationship” since 2007, and since 2015 they have been arguing in front of the family court about the right to determine the residence of their children. “Our relationship has always been turbulent,” says the 31-year-old, speaking of a “very toxic” connection. The soccer star says the ex-girlfriend wants to use the complaint to get better chances in the family court – an accusation that the woman rejects.

Public prosecutor Stefanie Eckert described the woman as a “victim of domestic violence”. However, not only she became a victim, but also Boateng – “victim of their mutual toxic relationship”. In the whole story, the children are the real victims, says judge Kai Dingerdissen in his judgment. In the judgment, the court assumes “a punch” in the face of the girlfriend at the time.

Back to the events on vacation: The next day, the two would have reconciled, says Boateng. “We had spoken to each other, made up, the children were happy, danced.” His girlfriend at the time was “in a good mood”. Videos shown in court show her dancing exuberantly around a campfire on the beach. She says she was very drunk and didn’t want to show anything.

The luxury pavilions that Boateng and his tour group lived in had a very special extra, as the footballer describes: There was a butler. That night he also swept up the broken pieces of the lantern and glasses. “I then said – in English: Sorry for the mess,” says Boateng: Sorry for the chaos.

After the verdict, Boateng leaves the court without saying a word, walking past the numerous calling journalists and photographers who have been waiting for him there. His lawyer Walden, who had dismissed the allegations in advance as “completely absurd”, remains silent. [dpa]

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