French volleyball star Earvin Ngapeth was arrested on Monday (December 9th) in Belo Horizonte, southern Brazil, on charges of sexual harassment, local police said. For his part, the volleyball evokes a "misunderstanding".
According to the complaint, 28-year-old Earvin Ngapeth spanked a 29-year-old woman in a theater. The woman was accompanied by her companion and a friend. She responded by striking the player's arm and called the police, who then transferred the volleyball player and the complainant to a police station.
"Earvin Ngapeth, who was in Brazil to participate in an international competition, was in the middle of a misunderstanding on the night of December 9, which led him to be arrested by the Brazilian police," said his lawyer Hugues Bouget, in a statement sent to AFP.
He claims to have "confused, during a disco party, a friend of the group with whom he was with a complete stranger and made a gesture, in fact, that she may have considered inappropriate for him", sued the lawyer.
"Quickly understanding his mistake and obviously sincerely sorry for the situation, Earvin Ngapeth immediately apologized to the latter, which was unfortunately not enough at first," he added.
He "renews his excuses"
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, during which Earvin Ngapeth's lawyer in Brazil, Dino Miraglia, will try to prove that it was only a "joke with a friend, without any intention of the player to make an inappropriate gesture towards the plaintiff ", and that" no sexual offense is justified ".
He "renews his apologies" to the complainant, "saddened to have caused, even perfectly involuntarily, an inconvenience to this woman".
Earvin Ngapeth is one of the leaders of the French volleyball team. He was last week in Betim, on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte for the World Club with Zenit Kazan, one of the best teams in the world, taking third place in the competition. The Russian club is scheduled to play a Champions League match on Wednesday in Belgium, in Maaseik.
The volleyball player has already dealt with the law several times in the past. He was sentenced in 2016 to three months in prison suspended for striking a controller of the SNCF, before being released on appeal in March 2018. He was also released in June 2017 in another case, dating back to 2013 , for a fight in nightclub in Montpellier.
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