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Franck Ribery Charged With Solicitation In Paris Underage Prostitution Case

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AFP reporter Tom Williams is reporting that Franck Ribéry has been charged with solicitation of an underage prostitute. 

 

Ribéry and fellow France international Karim Benzema continue to be held in connection with an investigation that started in April.  Both men were brought in for questioning early this morning, with the resulting charges just announced.

The investigation, which started in April, has led to the closing of the Zaman Café - a Champs Elysées bar where underage prostitutes were thought to have been practicing.  After an initial raid on the establishment, more than a dozen women were arrested.

The investigation focuses on claims Ribéry and Benzema paid for sex with 16-year-old Zehia Dehar, illegally working as a prostitute.  Although prostitution is legal in France, the age limit is 18.

Dehar admits to having sex with each man but insists she did not tell either than she was under-age.  While neither  Ribéry nor Benzema had admitted wrong-doing,  Ribéry has admitted having sex with Zehar.  

Ribéry's claims have come under scrutiny amidst reports that he attempted to purchase a plane ticket to Germany for Zehar.  To do so,  Ribéry would have had to know Zehar's age.

If convicted of sex with an underage prostitute, Ribèry faces up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000.