14th April 2024
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Spanish footballer faces trial over claims he groped woman dressed as mascot

Former Celta Vigo captain Hugo Mallo will face trial in July for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman working as a mascot for Espanyol nearly five years ago, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

The incident allegedly took place before the sides met in La Liga in April 2019 when Mallo and his team-mates were greeting Espanyol players and two people dressed in parakeet costumes as Espanyol’s mascots.

According to the prosecutor’s findings Mallo, now at Sport Club Internacional in Brazil, ‘put his hands under the woman’s costume and touched her breasts’.

The prosecutor said the victim ‘was forced to retreat and push the accused awa'” and is asking for a fine of over €8,000 for Mallo for an offence of sexual assault.

Spanish media said Mallo had already denied committing any offence when he testified in July 2019 and the case was provisionally shelved, but after appeals by the defence and victim, the Barcelona Provincial Court ordered the case be reopened in May 2021.

The 32-year-old player’s agency released a statement again denying the accusations and asking for the presumption of innocence until otherwise proven.

‘We categorically deny the alleged facts, which has already been made clear to the court that investigated him,’ said Mallo’s agency.

‘We ask that justice be allowed to act, as well as for the utmost respect for Hugo and his family as we wait for the truth to emerge.’

The trial is set to begin on 11 July.

ALSO READ: Luis Rubiales to face trial for kissing Jenni Hermoso at Women’s World Cup.

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