The Paris Assize Court delivered its verdict this Friday in a five-day trial where two versions clashed: that of 37-year-old Moroccan star Saad Lamjarred and that of Laura P., the young Frenchwoman who accused him of rape and assault. The court was not convinced by Lamjarred’s version of an “involuntary violent reflex” and noted the absence of scratches on the singer’s back and the injuries of Laura P., who was 20 years old at the time. The young woman consistently and precisely described the rape from the start, while Lamjarred changed his version several times. The court also noted testimonies of hotel employees who saw Laura in a state of shock after leaving the star’s room.
After taking into account Lamjarred’s clean record and respect for judicial control, as well as his persistence in denying the facts, oversized ego, and intolerance to frustration, the court sentenced him to six years in prison. The Advocate General had demanded a seven-year sentence and a five-year ban from French territory.
The verdict was met with silence in the courtroom, while Laura P. broke down in tears in her mother’s arms. She later expressed relief at finally being recognized as a victim and hoped that the verdict would open people’s eyes to the reality of rape. Lamjarred’s lawyers have ten days to appeal the verdict.