Achraf Hakimi is gaining traction as a world-class defender after his solid showings this season. His stellar play for Paris Saint-Germain and Morocco established him as a household name.
However, the reputation he built over the past year might come crashing down. The Moroccan defender is accused of raping a Frenchwoman recently. While the legal proceeding will take a long process, its effect on his image as a family-loving footballer is immediate and brutal.
According to Adam Wells of Bleacher Report, prosecutors already investigated Hakimi after a woman made allegations about the right-back. The prosecutors who opened the investigation decided to approach Hakimi despite the woman not pressing charges due to the heavy nature of her testimony.
Reports revealed that the 24-year-old defender invited the woman to his home while his wife, Hiba Abouk, and their two children were vacationing in Dubai. It was during this time that the alleged sexual assault took place.
Hakimi was questioned on Thursday and was placed under judicial supervision after being indicted by an investigating judge.
Rape is a severe crime in France. Hakimi could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the allegations. He and his camp vehemently deny the accusations against him, saying he’s a possible victim of a racketeer.
The Impact of Hakimi’s Rape Allegations
It will take a while before the French courts determine what happened when Achraf Hakimi invited the woman to his home. However, the impact of the allegations has already affected him.
There are reports that Hakimi and his wife have ended their relationship, though there’s no confirmation of the split from either party. Suggestions claim their relationship was already on the rocks before the allegations came to light.
PSG, Hakimi’s club, expressed its support for the player. They believe his statement and hope the French justice system will work out in their right-back’s favor.
Hakimi remains part of their training program as the legal troubles began brewing for him. He is also reported to remain in the Starting XI when Les Parisiens face off against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The legal battle will have a toll on Hakimi, be it physically or mentally. The PSG faithful can only hope that his off-the-pitch struggles won’t gravely affect his performances on it.